Aidy Boothroyd calls on England Under-21s to improve after opening European Championship draw

The Young Lions play Group A leaders Slovakia on Monday knowing a win is vital to keep their qualification hopes alive 

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The Independent Football

Aidy Boothroyd has called on his England Under-21s to improve after their opening draw at Euro 2017.

The Young Lions play Group A leaders Slovakia on Monday knowing a win is vital to keep their qualification hopes alive following a 0-0 draw against Sweden.

Jordan Pickford's penalty save from Linus Wahlqvist nine minutes from time earned a point meaning the Young Lions face Group A leaders Slovakia on Monday knowing a win is vital to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Boothroyd knows the point could prove crucial but is conscious that his side must do better.

He said: "I'm not satisfied because I want to win every game but when you get to this level you have to be realistic that you can't win every single game. What's important is you keep focused and don't get beaten and make sure you qualify.

"I thought it was a typical opening game. We were a bit nervy, opening the tournament, first game. No matter how good a player you are just to get settled in was important for us.

"It was a fair result in the end and we can certainly play better than we did. Sweden gave us problems which we dealt with."

Tammy Abraham twice went close while Ben Chilwell, who conceded the late penalty, hit the bar with a deflected effort in the second half.

Pawel Cibicki hit the woodwork for Sweden who also trail group leaders Slovakia by two points after they beat Poland 2-1 in the late game on Friday.

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Pickford's heroics earned England a point (PA)

Boothroyd also responded to Sweden manager Hakan Ericson's claim the Young Lions were too direct at the Kolporter Arena.

He added: "When you play against a team who sits as deep as they do that's where the space on the pitch is. He's right, that's what we did to open it up and play through them. What we're good at is getting it off the lines and playing in pockets. (Lewis) Baker, (James) Ward-Prowse, (Jacob) Murphy are all very good at that but we couldn't find the room to do that.

"If you limit yourself to one style you're going to give yourself a problem at some point."

PA

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