England U19s coach Keith Downing eyes further success


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England U19s coach Keith Downing admits it was fantastic to win the European Championships but he has urged his squad to kick on.

The Young Lions were too strong for Portugal as they secured a 2-1 victory in Georgia on Saturday night.

Downing’s side won the title for the first time and it follows on from a hugely successful summer for England.

The Three Lions have already won the U20 World Cup and Toulon tournament, while the Under-17s reached the final of their European Championships.

England’s Under-21s lost in the semi-finals of the Euros to Germany but Downing is expecting his group of players to make the next step up.

Goals from Aston Villa’s Easah Suliman and Manchester City’s Lukas Nmecha were enough to give England the win and Downing has backed his squad to progress in the coming years.

He told UEFA.com: “We showed another side of ourselves today, more of a defensive side – there was some real good defending, individually and as a group.

“Every game is tough – the Czech Republic gave us a real tough game and Portugal did so again today, but these boys are real talented youngsters.

Six boys are under 18 so it’s a young group, but they showed resilience as well as quality. “It has created a huge momentum this year.

We have heavily invested in St George’s Park in the last five years. What we need to do now is sustain this success and continue working through all the age groups.

“It has been a big year for us and we’ll enjoy it, but we’ll continue to work.”

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