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Aidy Boothroyd delighted with England Under-21s' latest success

Aidy Boothroyd delighted with latest success
© Reuters
Aidy Boothroyd says that England Under-21s winning the Toulon Tournament for a third year running provides him with a "really good feeling".

Aidy Boothroyd has talked up the team spirit of his England Under-21s side following their latest successful Toulon Tournament campaign.

The Young Lions won the competition for a third year running thanks to a 2-1 victory against their Mexico counterparts on Saturday evening.

England showed good character to recover in a match during which they were far from their best, netting twice in the space of four first-half minutes through Dael Fry and Kieran Dowell.

Boothroyd is pleased with his side's preparations ahead of next summer's U21 Euro 2019 tournament, for which they have yet to qualify, and he believes that certain players are now better prepared to step up to the senior team when called upon.

"To win it three times in a row is a really good feeling," he told reporters. "We're preparing the team for Euro 2019 and we still have to qualify, with difficult games to come, but we've really enjoyed the tournament here. It's been really good for us and a brilliant experience for our younger players.

"Mexico are a very good team and we knew we'd have to be at our best to beat them. The turning point was during the first drinks break where we changed our formation and managed to score two goals quickly.

"The game lasts 80-plus minutes and we knew in the last game against Mexico we finished the stronger team, so we thought we could wear them down. But they were very, very good. It was a tough game for us and a game we're pleased to win, obviously.

"We think of ourselves as a team, no individuals, that is our biggest strength. The biggest plus is we've managed to teach our players a new system, very similar to our senior team, as we want it to be seamless for those guys that go through to the first team. They've taken a lot of information on and done really, really well so we're very happy."

England U21s return to action in September with a home qualifier against the Netherlands.


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Interim England Under-21s manager Aidy Boothroyd sings the national anthem before his side's friendly against Italy Under-21s at St Mary's Stadium on November 10, 2016
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