England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd vowed to take criticism on the chin ahead of his side’s final Euro 2019 match.
The Young Lions face Croatia in San Marino on Monday having already been eliminated from Group C.
Friday’s 4-2 defeat to Romania in Cesena condemned them to an early exit, with Boothroyd – who signed a two-year extension in May – insisting he would not quit.
He has come in for criticism following his substitutions and selections having dropped Phil Foden on Friday but Boothroyd is prepared for the flak.
He said: “I’m experienced enough to know when it’s good it’s great and when it’s not so good, it’s not so good. It comes with the territory. When things are going well I’ll answer all the questions and the same goes for now.
“We had what seemed like a couple of hours having a chat about things (with the media) on Saturday and I hope you get to see the real me.
“When things are going great it doesn’t get any better but if you want to get better you have to have a bit of adversity and you have to respond properly to it.
"It’s hard to take, but we’ve got to learn from this, move forward and finish the tournament strongly."@22Demarai speaking to @SkyFootball after tonight’s #U21Euro defeat:pic.twitter.com/s6o1BNH2Sy— England (@England) June 21, 2019
“Anyone who thinks it’s all plain sailing has clearly not been in football very long.”
Nine players, including Manchester City’s Foden, from the current squad can play in the 2021 qualifying campaign.
And Boothroyd wants all of his squad to target a spot in Gareth Southgate’s senior set-up.
“It’s a positive that the senior team manager is here and the technical director (Les Reed) is here. That’s good for them and it’s an opportunity so they have to take it,” he said.
“Every time they put on an England shirt they should think about the long term and playing for the seniors.”
But Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham will sign off his under-21 career on Monday.
He will start after coming off the bench to score in Friday’s Romania defeat and is eager to finish on a high.
He added: “It’s been good for me on a personal level but it’s the last time, my last under-21 game, and I’d like to end on a high, score some goals, play well and show everyone what England are truly made of.”
Hamza Choudhury remains banned after his red card in the opening 2-1 defeat to France.
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