Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

Young Lions goalkeeper Dean Henderson says Euro focus is now firmly set on Romania

Wednesday 19 Jun 2019
Dean Henderson during his match recovery session on Wednesday morning

Dean Henderson believes England U21s will bounce back from the disappointment of their Euro defeat to France.

The Young Lions face Romania in their second group game on Friday evening, knowing that a win is vital if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

And after the disappointment of their opening game, when Phil Foden stylishly opened the scoring before a red card for Hamza Choudhury and two late goals from France turned the game on its head, the Manchester United goalkeeper says focus has already been turned to the next game.

“We know what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready to go again,” he said.

“We’ve got to go there and win. If we have a performance like last night and keep eleven men on the pitch, there’s no reason why we can’t do that.

Henderson saved Moussa Dembele's first-half penalty in the game with France

“It was hard to take so late on, after we’d dominated the game for a long time.

“I thought as long as we had eleven men on the park, there was only going to be one winner as we were pushing on.

“But these things happen, it’s football and you’ve got to adapt.”

Despite the result, Henderson certainly caught the eye with his own performance in Cesena, notably after saving a first-half penalty from Moussa Dembele and then denying the former Fulham and Celtic striker again.

But personal praise means nothing to the 22-year-old, who just wants to help England win. 

"It’s always nice to perform on stages like this, but that’s what I’m here to do," he added.

"I’m here to do my job, which is, first and foremost, to keep the ball out of the back of the net. It was disappointing in the end that two got past me, but these things happen, it’s football and you can’t stop everything.

"You’ve just got to do the best you can for the team and that’s my job, so hopefully I can keep that good form going into the next game."

The Young Lions squad have also been joined in Italy by England senior manager Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland over the last few days.

And the former Carlisle United youngster, who caught the eye last season on loan with Sheffield United as the Blades won promotion to the Premier League, says that has certainly put a spring in everyone’s steps in training.

Henderson has a strong belief England can beat Romania and Croatia to qualify

“That’s the man you want to impress in the end so fingers crossed the boys can do that,” he added.

“We’ve got a talented group and I’m sure many of the boys will go on to play for the seniors eventually, whether it’s next season or the season after.

“That’s every lad’s dream here, it’s what we’ve been working so hard for throughout the age groups, otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.

“Everyone develops at different times and it’s good that he’s taking an interest. It just shows he wants to build a young team going forward.”

You can watch Friday’s match with Romania live on Sky Sports Football, with kick-off at 5.30pm.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels