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England U21s heading off to their Euros after getting penalty shootout tips from… GARETH SOUTHGATE!

Date Posted,June 11, 2017

Aidy Boothroyd and his England Under-21s fly out on their Euro mission in the next 24 hours after taking penalty advice from Gareth Southgate.

U21 boss Boothroyd, who shares an office with national team manager Southgate and other Three Lions coaches, has high hopes for his Young Lions ahead of group games against hosts Poland, holders Sweden and Slovakia at the European Championship.

Boothroyd says part of their preparations has been taking penalties, including in Saturday’s behind-closed-doors friendly win over Iceland.

He admits Southgate has been passing on advice of what NOT to do after famously missing in the semi-final Wembley loss to Germany at Euro 96.

Southgate’s penalty was saved — and the Germans went through with the next kick (Photo: Allsport/Getty)

Boothroyd said: “The key thing is we leave no stone unturned. We will be practising penalties.

“I’m not the first one to go on about practising penalties. But we have one or two ideas to make sure when it comes to it we will be ready.

“The biggest thing, being in an environment where I am sharing an office with Gareth, is listening to his experiences as a player, like the shoot-out in 96, the way the team approached it.”

England U21s have failed to get out of their group at the last three tournaments.

Boothroyd’s Boys hope to end a run of English failure in recent U21 Euros (Photo: Getty)

“We have get to a position where we get to take them because last time we didn’t get to that stage,” reflected Boothroyd.

England continued their preparations with a 3-0 victory over Iceland at St George’s Park after two goals from Norwich’s Jacob Murphy and one from Tammy Abraham of Chelsea. The match was also used as an opportunity for both teams to take part in a penalty shoot-out after 90 minutes, which England won 7-6.

The squad fly out on Monday also buoyed by the success of other England sides in the age groups below them, with the weekend seeing victories at the Toulon Tournament and in the final of the Under-20 World Cup .

England beat Ivory Coast on penalties to retain their Toulon Tournament title… (Photo: AFP)
…then became Under-20 world champions next day — now, what will the U21s do? (Photo: The FA via Getty)

Boothroyd added: “There is a genuine optimism about where the England teams are going.

“In that little coaches’ room, we have a lot of knowledge of what the players will be going through.

“I think we are as best prepared as we have been for a long time and there is real optimism.

“The fact the U17s have done as well as they have done, the 18s, the 19s going away to a tournament and the 20s… it is an exciting time and a nice place for me to be a part of.”

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