England U21 vs France U21 : Aidy Boothroyd reckons England are his best U21 squad yet – but warned their Euro campaign is “knockout football”. England kick-off their tournament against France on Tuesday night looking to go one better than two years ago, when they lost on penalties to Germany in the semi final in Poland.
Boothroyd says England have learned from that experience, and improved after qualifying for the last six finals. They must win their Group C, including Romania and Croatia, to guarantee progress to the last four.
He said: “This is going to be one of the best U21 tournaments there’s ever been because of the quality of the teams in the tournament. As coaches and players we want to perform and be up against the best to push ourselves.
In an exclusive Sky Sports interview ahead of England’s opener against France at the European U21 Championships, manager Aidy Boothroyd offers a glimpse inside the camp and outlines his tournament objectives to Sky Sports’ Adam Smith…
The European U21 Championships is finally here…
This is the most exciting part of the U21 job for me. We’ve had the winters, we’ve watched the players, we’ve been to the clubs, we’ve had the meetings, we’ve done the preparation, we’ve been to the hotels, the training grounds and the grounds.
ENGLAND begin their Euro U21 campaign against old rivals France, in an opening match which could decide who tops Group C.
Only one team in each group is guaranteed a semi-final place, so the Young Lions dare not lose to Les Bleus in this one.
England begin their seventh successive European Under-21 Championship campaign against France at Cesena’s Stadio Dino Manuzzi on Tuesday night.
Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions are considered among the favourites for the 12-team tournament being played across Italy and San Marino, though their impressive 18-match unbeaten streak was ended by a narrow defeat to defending champions Germany in March.
That was the only loss inflicted upon 2017 semi-finalists England – whose impressive squad features the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Phil Foden, Ryan Sessegnon, Mason Mount, James Maddison and Tammy Abraham – in their last 20 matches and they will need to have their wits about them against a similarly-fancied French side spearheaded by Lyon frontman Moussa Dembele.