Aidy Boothroyd pleased with England’s ‘effort and energy’ despite U21 Euros exit

first_imgAidy Boothroyd has admitted he has mixed feelings about England’s exit from the European Under-21 Championship having watched from the sidelines as the Young Lions were beaten by Germany at the semi-final stage.Having played 120 minutes of regulation and extra time with the score tied at 2-2, it was the Germans who claimed victory in a penalty shootout, Nathan Redmond seeing his deciding spot kick saved.England impressed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament, even if their on-pitch performances varied from excellent to dour, and there were certainly members of Boothroyd’s squad who vastly improved their chances of making the senior team.And Boothroyd has heaped praise on his players despite the semi-final exit, highlighting just how well his youngsters dealt with the pressure of wearing the famous three lions.Speaking to talkSPORT, the former Watford boss said: “I think the players have dealt with a lot of pressure.“Playing for England isn’t easy as the shirt can be heavy, and after the Sweden game we got a good point then we had two high-pressure games we had to win and we did – we coped with the pressure there.“And tonight we’ve gone down, come back, gone ahead, they’ve drawn level then we’ve ended up losing on penalties.“[I’ve got] really mixed feelings, because I’m obviously delighted with the effort and energy everyone has put in – staff and players – but absolutely gutted because our tournament is over and we thought we could win it.”Despite these ‘mixed feelings’, Boothroyd believes, after a period of reflection, he will be able to look back on the tournament as a successful experience – but one to build upon.He added: “I think at this point, despite being really down about things, after a little period of reflection I think everybody connected with the team can be really pleased.“So, we’re disappointed to go out the way we did, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been a brilliant tournament, a high-pressure tournament.“What we want to do now is get to the latter stages, and next time we’ll get there; we need to be winning finals, like we’ve done with the Under-20s – and I’m sure we’ll do that.”last_img

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