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Aaron Ramsdale digs out England U21’s failures amid Aidy Boothroyd pressure


Aaron Ramsdale has blasted England U21s for failing to take responsibility and create the magic to win their Euros opener.

The Sheffield United keeper reckons Aidy Boothroyd’s men stepped back and waited for a team-mate to make a breakthrough, as they flopped against Switzerland with just one shot on target.

Ramsdale, and under pressure boss Boothroyd, have warned their next opponents Portugal will get a backlash with an attacking performance to revive their hopes of reaching the quarter final.

Switzerland left England “very very down” after winning their opening group game 1-0 on Thursday.

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Ramsdale said: “We’ve taken a hit to the ribs and we’re winded a little bit, but we’ve not been knocked down to the canvas yet.

Aaron Ramsdale has promised a determined response, and more shots, from England U21s

“We decided to step off it. I think that will be something we can all agree on, that we almost left it to someone else to spark us into life.

“I think throughout my time with this team, if that’s in the 19s, 20s or 21s, we’ve always been a very, very good team.

“It could come down to the first-game nerves or something – it was almost like ‘I’m going to step off a little bit and let someone create a bit of magic to score for us, to allow us to play a bit freer’.

“It’s difficult for me because it’s hard for a goalkeeper to say they should be doing this, they should be doing that, because that’s when friction comes between players.

“As long as I’m doing my job, then I’ll let the attacking players do theirs. I’m not going to tell players who play in the Premier League as strikers what to do.

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Aidy Boothroyd has called for an all out attacking performance from his England U21s against Portugal on Sunday

“I think the lads will know themselves what we need to do better as a team.

“No team is here for free. They’ve all earned the right to be here. I think the next game we need to get back to the way we play with our combinations and shots and crosses and keeping it tight at the back.

“We’ve got a lot of talent in this team and we can progress through.”

Boothroyd’s future as U21 boss is in the balance if they fail to progress with his contract up in the summer.

He said: “When you are England U21 coach there is always pressure. Pressure to get players through (to the senior team), pressure to win. I enjoy that. Strangely enough I do.

“This is a challenge. I have met challenges like this before and won.

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“We are doing all we can to remain positive and get a result. There is no point sulking about it, what has happened has happened, whether it be a fluke or not.

“We have to put on a positive display, and get me smiling. We’ll have a really good go at Portugal on Sunday. We have six points to play for and we have to totally go for the six points.

“They are a good bunch. I will pick them up and get them going straight away for Portugal.”





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