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

England U21s' Aidy Boothroyd and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ready for must-win Romania tie

Friday 21 Jun 2019
U21s head coach Aidy Boothroyd spoke to the media ahead of Friday's game with Romania

England U21s boss Aidy Boothroyd and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin know that nothing less than a win will do, when they face Romania on Friday.

The Young Lions have two group games remaining at the U21 Euro Finals and to reach the semi-final they need to either top their group or be the best runner-up from all three groups.

And after Tuesday’s opening game defeat to France, they now need to secure six points to stand a chance of reaching the last four.

“We’re focused and determined and we’re in a position now where we know what we need to do and we’re going to do it,” said Boothroyd.

“There’s allsorts of connotations and there are tight and fine margins at this level but the group’s focus since the game has been very good.

“We know we have to win to stay in the competition and give ourselves a chance, so we’ll be very positive and attack-minded.”

After coming off the bench in the first game, Boothroyd also revealed Calvert-Lewin is set to start Friday’s game as he makes changes to the line-up which started against France.

Calvert-Lewin, and his Everton and England team-mate Kieran Dowell

And the Everton man is under no illusions that the Young Lions will need goals when they meet a lively Romanian team who beat Croatia by 4-1 in their opening game.

“For us to win the game with the ability we've got in the squad is a realistic aim in my opinion,” he added.

“We go in there to win. There's a good chance it will [go to goal difference] and there's no point ignoring that and being oblivious to it.

“We’re aware of it but it's not a question of going into the game thinking we need to score as many goals as we can, it’s just one goal after another.

“There’s no point putting added pressure on ourselves to try and win 4, 5 or 6-0 because that might be unrealistic.”

There’s a degree of familiarity for the two teams too, after they met in a friendly game in March 2018 while both nations were in the midst of their qualification campaigns.

England ran out as narrow 2-1 winners in that game at Molineux, but the Romanians left a lasting impression on Boothroyd at the time.

“When we played them last year, I was very impressed with the way their team gelled together,” he said.

“Although people talk about Puscas, Hagi and Coman as being their star players, what I like the best is how together they are.

“It was a very close game and one we won in the last minute, so we had to keep going until the very end.

“They're a very difficult opponent and we know we’re not in for an easy game, it’s going to be very tough and it’s a great opportunity for them to qualify so we have to win.

“We expect Romania to give us lots of problems so it’s up to us to find some solutions and cause them problems.

“I expect it will be a close game and a difficult game.”

Watch the match live in the UK on Sky Sports Football. Kick-off is at 5.30pm BST.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels