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

Aidy Boothroyd reflects on U21 Euro defeat against Romania as Young Lions exit early

Friday 21 Jun 2019
Aidy Boothroyd watches on as his side face Romania

Aidy Boothroyd couldn’t hide his disappointment after seeing his England U21s exit the European Championship Finals at the group stage.

The Young Lions lost 4-2 to Romania on Friday and, following on from their opening game reverse against France, it means they go into next week’s final group game with Croatia with no chance of reaching the semi-final.

And after seeing his side equalise twice in an explosive end to the game in Cesena before two late goals added further gloss to the scoreline in Romania’s favour, Boothroyd provided his assessment of the result.

“As you can imagine, I’m absolutely gutted after two years of preparation and qualifying and we’ve gone out in a way which is very disappointing,” he admitted.

“We were rusty in the first half, and didn’t deal very well with Romania but in the second half I thought there was only one team going to win it.

“I thought we were terrific at times, and even when they came back into it and scored a goal against the run of play, I still fancied us.

England U21s were left disappointed after two defeats in two games at the U21 Euro Finals

“So it’s very disappointing. If you make mistakes at this level, you get punished for them and we’ve had to face three penalties in two games, so we’re obviously not getting something right in our defending.

“They’re young players and they will learn from it. The U21s is about winning games and producing players and unfortunately we’ve fallen at the group stages but there are players in that team who will go and play for the senior team.”

The Young Lions head coach was also probed on his team selection for the game, in particular his decision to name Phil Foden on the substitute’s bench after his performance against France in the first game.

“There’s a fine line to tread,” he explained.

“I’ve got to look after Phil and we all thought it would be right for him to come in as the game wore on, to weave his magic.

“But unfortunately, we didn’t quite get to where we wanted to.

“We need to manage his minutes, and it’s the same with all the players, we have to measure their load and after the emotion and physical output we got from him in the France game, we thought it would be best to bring him on.”

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels