England boss Aidy Boothroyd 'not going anywhere' despite Euro U21 exit after Romania defeat
England exit tournament after dramatic defeat in Cesena
Last Updated: 23/06/19 12:50pm
England U21 manager Aidy Boothroyd insists he will not be leaving his role despite his side's exit from the European Championships after their 4-2 loss to Romania on Friday.
The dramatic defeat, in which all six goals came in just 18 minutes at the end of the game, paired with France's 1-0 win over Croatia, means England's slim hopes of finishing as best runner-up were dashed.
However, Boothroyd - who only signed a new two-year deal before the tournament, says his plans have not changed.
"It is important that we pick the bones out if it and clearly if we are going to win a tournament like this, there are things we have to improve upon," he said after the match.
I am not going anywhere - they will have to carry me out
"There are things that have gone really, really well and things that we have to improve upon.
"I am not going anywhere - they will have to carry me out."
Boothroyd, meanwhile, decided to rest Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden in Cesena. The 19-year-old came on midway through the second half and Boothroyd was asked if he regretted his decision.
"He did not start for a reason because I wanted to save him and make sure he was fresh coming on and not running out of gas towards the end," he said.
"So that was my decision - do I regret it? I think it is a time for a bit of reflection really from me without making any daft statements."
'England's best attackers weren't on'
However, Sky Sports pundit Liam Rosenior argued that by not starting his best attackers, in Foden and Tammy Abraham, Boothroyd put England in a position which led to their pivotal mistakes.
"The first goal in every game is so important - and to get the first goal you need your best players on the pitch," said Rosenior. "For me, England's best attacking players weren't on.
"You see the difference Phil Foden makes when he comes on. The difference Tammy Abraham makes, and the chances he gets.
"It's no accident Abraham gets the chances, he gets the goal, he hits the bar, he makes the keeper make a save because he's the best striker in terms of clever movement and getting in between defenders to get those chances.
"I thought we were the better team in terms of possession but we didn't have the quality in the final third to get the first goal - and then we get punished with individual errors at the other end."
What's gone wrong?
England's U21 squad is packed with highly-rated talent - but after two matches and two defeats they are already out of the European Championships. What's gone wrong for Boothroyd's team?
After success in 2017 at U17, U19 and U20 level, this generation seemingly had the potential to be crowned the top U21 side in Europe, but instead find themselves eliminated with one group game still to play after losses against France and Romania.
Here, we pick out the decisive factors which have held the side back in Italy - and ask what it means for these players in terms of their development…
'Learning curve for young Lions'
Boothroyd remained upbeat despite England's early exit in the tournament, insisting his side will only improve with the experience.
The U21 boss was also without Jadon Sancho, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold after the trio became key players for Gareth Southgate's senior side over the past season.
But Boothroyd believes it is merely part and parcel of his role at junior level, showing a clear pathway towards players becoming full internationals.
"My job is to produce players for the senior team and to work hard to make this group as strong as they can to not only win games but to develop and get something experiential to take forward," Boothroyd said.
"Because we've been successful in recent years younger players have moved up and we are stretching and pushing players at all levels.
"We are a young team at senior level and subsequently we are a young team at U21 level.
"There will be times the players aren't quite ready but ultimately errors and adversity will make the players better for it.
"I liken it to being a reserve-team coach whose job is to get players through to the first-team, it's about a clear pathway and the first team will always come first, we are there to fuel them."
All the ways to watch the tournament...
England face Croatia on Monday at 8pm in their final Group C clash, and every game during the UEFA European U21 Championships will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to stream the games via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.
Non-subscribers can watch all the action through NOW TV. A Sky Sports day pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.