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Aidy Boothroyd relishing the pressure ahead of England U21s’ clash with Portugal

England v Switzerland – 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship – Group D – Bonifika Stadium
(Image credit: Luka Stanzl)

England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd insists he is relishing the pressure ahead of Sunday’s must-win match against Portugal.

The Young Lions lost 1-0 to Switzerland in their opening Euro 2021 Group D game on Thursday.

It turned up the heat ahead of facing Portugal in Ljubljana – especially after Portugal’s 1-0 victory over Croatia following England’s defeat.

Boothroyd, out of contract in the summer, knows what is at stake in Slovenia but welcomes the spotlight.

He said: “When you are England Under-21s coach there is always pressure. Pressure to get players through, pressure to win. I enjoy that. Strangely enough I do. This is a challenge, I have met challenges like this before and won.

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

“We have to put on a positive display (on Sunday) and get me smiling.”

Dan Ndoye’s 77th-minute goal, which looped over Aaron Ramsdale after the ball hit the striker’s standing foot, earned Switzerland a deserved win in Koper.

England only had one shot on target – Callum Hudson-Odoi’s free-kick which was saved by Anthony Racioppi – while Bastien Toma hit a post for Switzerland.

The Young Lions also play Croatia on Wednesday and, while Boothroyd has always stated his job is to help bring players through for the senior side, his squad must understand how to win at tournaments.

He said: “We have brought players through and we have got plenty but we have had a game we have not done enough to win it. They have to go through this as players and people to come out the other side and be better.

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