Aidy Boothroyd brands England U21 job “utterly impossible” amid miserable Euros

Aidy Boothroyd has branded managing England U21s the “utterly impossible job.”

The head coach admits passing all his best players to Gareth Southate makes it difficult for him to win a Euro Championship – but says it is correct the seniors get priority.

Boothroyd says the FA system would be “flawed” if they hid their top talent in the U21s to try and win a tournament, rather than allowing them experience with Southgate in the World Cup qualifiers.

Among the top talent who could have played in Boothroyd’s line up in Slovenia are Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jude Bellingham.

Boothroyd’s U21 side lost their first two Group D games, and need to beat Croatia by two goals and hope Portugal beat Switzerland on Wednesday evening.

Aidy Boothroyd is under immense pressure to save his job

Boothroyd said: “The England senior men’s club has been called the impossible job. The U21 job is the utterly impossible job because of the number of players we have to produce for the senior team. And the fact we are expected to win.

“There is a reason we have not won this for 37 years. There is a reason we have not progressed as much as we thought we would. Part of that is because our primary aim is to get players through to Gareth… and we have.”

Asked why he can’t bring England’s best U21s to try and win a tournament, Boothroyd said: “It is a brilliant question. Can you imagine a reserve team manager knocking on the door of the first team manager and saying listen boss, I need to win today and you should give me the best player because we can win the reserve team championship.

“That wouldn’t happen. That is the reality. The only team that needs to win in the senior team. Everywhere else winning is part of it, losing is part of it. Having some adversity is part of it.

“The main thing, every player and coach is to produce senior team players. The reason I say it is the utterly impossible job is because new players come in, younger players, and the wheel starts again.

England are heading out of the Euros unless something miraculous happens in the final round of group games

“My job is not to say to Gareth we should take Jude (Bellingham) of Mason (Mount) or Phil (Foden) and there are plenty else. It is about the senior team. If you are hiding players in the U21s then the system is flawed.

“But is it not flawed because we bring players through.

“The cycle is not complete yet. It takes time for the players to be ready to take on the world. We want to create a legacy here, get players through and win at all levels.”

Boothroyd confirmed he wants to stay as U21 boss despite his contract ending in the summer. He has seen several high profile names touted as his successor including Nicky Butt.

Boothroyd reckons the Croatia clash is the biggest game of his career, with his job on the line. He said: “Yes it is. I represent England. My job is to get England players through the pathway and win games. We are capable of getting a good result, have done it on many occasions.

“It is about keeping a cool head now. The other games are done. All energies on this. We have had our final session and the players look lively and ready. It is about the players. We can qualify.

“Proving people wrong won’t be the primary motivation. It is working for England, the Three Lions, enjoying my job and getting this result we need. Other people will be mentioned for it like I was when I got it. The motivation is getting the players ready and go home tomorrow night with a good result in our pocket looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”

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