There’s no pressure on my team in Toulon, says Aidy Boothroyd
England are looking to win the Toulon Tournament for a third straight year.
England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd refused to put any pressure on the Young Lions in Toulon as they aim for a third straight title.
The squad are aiming to continue the success of the age groups when they open the tournament against China in Aubagne on Saturday.
The Under-17s won the World Cup last year before the new crop were knocked out of Euro 2018 in the semi-finals in England last week.
The Under-19s won Euro 2017, the Under-20s claimed a World Cup triumph while Boothroyd’s Under-21s lost to Germany on penalties in their European semi-final in Poland last year.
England also triumphed at the Toulon Tournament in 2016 and 2017 but Boothroyd remained cautious on giving the new generation a label.
He told Press Association Sport: “It’s not a lead generation, it’s not a platinum generation…I wouldn’t say it’s a golden generation but we have got more depth than we’ve ever had which is really, really important.
“Just getting them in the Premier League is a big thing.
“Dan (Ashworth, the Football Association’s technical director) has taken it to another level there’s no doubt about that, with the people he’s brought in and the systems we’ve now got in place.
“We’ve got here with a lot of people’s input, the EPPP, relationships, reputations and respect for the FA.
“The relationships with the clubs have never been better and if you have played and beaten teams globally then why not be able to do it when you’re older?
“It’s taken five years to get to this point.”
Tammy Abraham and Lewis Cook, who earned senior caps this season, are the most experienced in Boothroyd’s squad in France.
But Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale and Chelsea’s Jay Dasilva won Euro 2017 while eight of the players who started the Under-20 World Cup final win over Venezuela last year, including Cook, Jonjoe Kenny and Kyle Walker-Peters, are in.
Ronaldo Vieira and Harvey Barnes were also part of the victorious squad in Toulon last year.
Boothroyd is without Liverpool winger Ovie Ejaria after he pulled out injured on Friday, with Everton’s Callum Connolly called up.
The Young Lions will also face Mexico in Salon on Tuesday and Qatar, in their final Group A game, in Fos-Sur-Mer on Friday, June 1.
Boothroyd added: “Qatar are an emerging nation and the Mexicans are always very good at all youth levels.”