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Boothroyd: We must improve

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Last Updated: 16/06/17 9:14pm

Aidy Boothroyd says England must to better in their next match

Aidy Boothroyd says he expects England U21s to play better next time out following their 0-0 draw against Sweden in U21 Euros.

Jordan Pickford saved a late penalty from Linus Wahlqvist to save a point for England, who face Slovakia next up on Monday evening.

Only the three group winners and best-performing second-place side qualify for the semi-final of the tournament, and Boothroyd knows England must improve to stand a chance of reaching the knockout stage.

He told Sky Sports: “I think in an ideal world you play really well, win the game and you’re off and running. What you don’t want to do is lose.

“I thought it was typical of the opening game of a tournament, I thought both teams will say they could have played better. We certainly can. Overall it was a fair result for us.

Highlights of the opening match of the European U21 Championship between Sweden and England

“It’s a shame, I thought we could have moved the ball quicker, into more pockets and perhaps attacked crosses better.

“A lot of players haven’t played for 90 minutes for a while, so they’re feeling it a bit. We’re reasonably happy, not over-excited. We’ve made a solid start, and we look forward to the next one now.


Slovakia U21 vs England U21

June 19, 2017, 4:30pm

Live on

“But we know we can play better, and we expect to play better next time. But today the main thing is we got used to the atmosphere, got used to the tournament, and we got ourselves a point.”

Ben Chilwell was penalised with 10 minutes to go for a foul on Wahlqvist, but £30m Everton signing Pickford stood firm to beat away the defender’s poor penalty.

Jordan Pickford speaks after his penalty stop saved England in Poland

Boothroyd paid tribute to Pickford for the save, and says his side were in big trouble in the tournament if he hadn’t made the stop.

“If that goes in, we’re in trouble, no doubt about that,” Boothroyd added. “It shows you that nothing fazes him, he’s an excellent goalkeeper.

“It’s one of those where Ben Chilwell has got all the ball, but the directive is you can’t go off your feet. The Swedish guy went over, and the referee had a decision to make.

“These are the moments that change games, but thankfully we’ve got a terrific goalkeeper that stood up and saved the penalty.”

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