Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Aidy Boothroyd felt England Under-21s passed test of nerve against Slovakia

Jordan Pickford Jordan Pickford stopped Linus Wahlqvist's penalty in the draw with Sweden
Kristopher Love | 20 June, 2017, 02:01

Boothroyd says it is a "must-win" game against Slovakia, who beat hosts Poland 2-1 in their first match.

England Under-21s survived a major scare to keep their Euro 2017 hopes alive after a comeback victory over Slovakia.

England were deservedly behind after a sloppy 45 minute display, though they came out after the break and managed to first equalise - through Alfie Mawson - before Nathan Redmond scored a superb victor. But when we got on the ball I thought we moved it well, and it was just the final pass, the final cross that we didn't have.

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Chrien headed in after 23 minutes as England struggled to get going but after replacing Mason Holgate with Jacob Murphy at the break they began to recover.

"I thought we controlled the game in the middle and the back of the pitch but we didn't have that final ball in the last third". Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham was involved in England's victor, holding the ball up to set the side on their way to a quick counter-attack, and his pace and strength are considerable assets.

Victory puts qualification from the group stages nearly in England's own hands and Boothroyd was delighted with the second half performance.

The centre-back said: "It was a mixture. I have got nothing but thanks for him".

"He's been up there on his own, he's not got his goal over the two games but I tell you what he hasn't half worked hard for the side". Credit to us and we did what we needed to do.

Slovakia now face Sweden on Thursday a point behind England and head coach Pavel Hapal felt they matched the Young Lions. "It felt like a home game", he said. "He's been up there on his own and he has not got his goal over the two games but he doesn't half work hard for the side". England has a very strong squad but I'm proud of my team because we created great pressure the last 30 minutes.