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

Aidy Boothroyd keen to assess where U21 Euro campaign went wrong ahead of new term

Tuesday 25 Jun 2019
Aidy Boothroyd watches on as his side finished their U21 Euro campaign with a draw against Croatia in San Marino

Aidy Boothroyd is hoping to find the answers to England U21s’ Euro exit in a post-tournament debrief.

The Young Lions ended this year’s campaign in the group stages after defeats to France and Romania in their first two games at the Finals ensured there would be no semi-final spot.

And despite finishing in third place in the group after Monday’s 3-3 draw with Croatia, the England head coach was left frustrated again after seeing his team take the lead three times only to concede an equaliser each time.

“It’s the conceding of goals which has undone us,” said Boothroyd.

“It was basic, fundamental defensive errors, mis-placed passes and poor decisions. There’s obviously a concentration issue but it’s been different players doing it, it’s not like it’s the same guy doing it over and over again.

“It’s been individuals in different games which have made poor decisions and if you give away opportunities at this level, you get punished.

“It would be worse if I was sat here saying we didn’t attack well either, so at least we did get one part of the game right.”

Boothroyd's team for the Croatia game featured three players who can feature in the next U21 Euro campaign

The squad will their standard post-tournament meeting at their base in Cesena on Tuesday morning before heading home later in the day.

Boothroyd and his staff will also reconvene later in the week at St. George’s Park to assess the campaign ahead of the new qualifying stage for the next U21 Euros in Hungary and Slovenia in 2021.

“I think when we sit down and go through it all again, there’ll be plenty of things to be learned but the main thing is that you have to stay in the game mentally,” added Boothroyd.

“When you look at the calibre of the players making mistakes, it doesn’t make sense, but we’ll get to the bottom of it.

Boothroyd and his assistant coach Lee Carsley chat before the game

“We’ve got a debrief as a coaching staff and if there’s a bit of time before we get away, then hopefully I’ll get a chance to sit down with Gareth to discuss their learnings and ours. Having been out here, there’s plenty to talk about and to go through.

“The bottom line is we won the group last time [Poland 2017]with seven points, but this time we might’ve played a nicer brand of football but we haven’t done collectively what it is that we wanted to do.”

The U21s kick-off their new qualifying campaign with a trip to Turkey on Friday 6 September, before they host Kosovo on Monday 9 September with the venue for that game still to be confirmed.

SEE THE U21s’ 2019-20 FIXTURES
By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels