Boothroyd: U21s reminded of duties
England U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd has said his Young Lions are constantly reminded about their responsibilities, amid breaches of discipline in the senior squad.
Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden have been left out of the latest England squad by Gareth Southgate after being axed when they broke Covid-19 protocols following last month’s 1-0 win in Iceland.
The pair were sent home from the England camp, missing the 0-0 draw in Denmark, and have not returned for games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.
Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho’s arrival for international duty has also been delayed after the three players attended a party with more than six people for Abraham’s birthday, in breach of coronavirus regulations.
England U21s face a Euro 2021 qualifier in Andorra on Wednesday and Boothroyd believes his squad understand they are constantly in the spotlight.
He said: “We’re regularly talking to the players about it. They are not just good players, it’s important they become role models and know they have responsibilities. We’re forever talking about that because it’s important.
“We’ve all been young and got things wrong, it’s part of growing up and part of becoming a well-rounded individual.
“In my role it’s important I make the guys aware of the younger people watching and the enormous influence they have on them.
“As kids, you want to be England internationals and they look up to these players. We make it very clear what it means to represent your country and wear the Three Lions.”
Boothroyd had worked with Abraham and Chilwell with the Young Lions, with Sancho bypassing the U21 squad, and holds them all in high regard.
He said: “It was out of character, looking from afar, young people get things wrong. We’re finding that out. All have apologised and Gareth has dealt with it in his normal swift way and that’s the end of it and we move on.
“Without reading the riot act, we live in times where everyone wants to share and let everyone know what they’re doing (on social media). I don’t understand it, maybe that’s the era I’m from. I prefer to keep things private.
“Sometimes the young players do things because they’re young and make mistakes. It’s all part of growing up.
“There’s a punishment attached to it and we move on.”
Boothroyd has a fully-fit squad ahead of Wednesday’s game at the Estadi Nacional d’Andorra with England top of Group Three needing four points from their final four games to reach Euro 2021.