Aidy Boothroyd reveals texts and chat with Gareth Southgate as pressure builds on Under-21 chief

Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd have exchanged texts this week with the Under-21 boss under pressure.Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd have exchanged texts this week with the Under-21 boss under pressure.
Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd have exchanged texts this week with the Under-21 boss under pressure.
England Under-21s face elimination from Euro 2021 ahead of Group D game against Croatia

England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd has dismissed speculation surrounding his job security.

Three Lions legend Frank Lampard, Steve Cooper, Justin Cochrane and Paul Simpson have all been linked with replacing Boothroyd, who is out of contract in the summer.

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The Young Lions are clinging on to their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2021 ahead of Wednesday's final Group D game with Croatia, having lost their two opening games against Switzerland and Portugal, barely mustering a shot on goal in either match in the process.

Aidy Boothroyd, manager of England Under-21s.Aidy Boothroyd, manager of England Under-21s.
Aidy Boothroyd, manager of England Under-21s.

They need to win by two goals in Koper and hope Portugal beat Switzerland but, as others are touted for his job, Boothroyd remains focused – even insistsing he has been ‘successful’ despite England bowing out of Euro 2019 without a win under his watch.

He said: "It’s a really good job working for really good people and with really good people, so obviously the runners and the riders are going to get going in this situation but as far as I’m concerned there is nothing to get upset about.

"I’m currently in the chair and have enjoyed being in the chair and want to carry on and do what I think has been a successful job. That’s it really. I don’t get distracted too much, it's more to focus on the team and the staff."

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Boothroyd, who was sacked by Northampton Town in 2013 with them bottom of League Two before being appointed as manager of England’s Under-20 team just two months later, has been in regular contact with senior boss Gareth Southgate while Football Association technical director John McDermott is in Slovenia with the Young Lions.

And he believes the fact that the senior team have a number of young players in their ranks is evidence of the good job he is doing within the age groups – and that both Southgate and McDermott recognise that.

“I’ve exchanged a couple of texts earlier in the week and I spoke to Gareth a couple of times," he said.

“I had a good chat with John McDermott as well. Are we on the same page? Absolutely. All the way through the pathway, we’re on the same page.

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“You shouldn’t be working in youth development if you think your job is to win every game and not produce players for the senior team.

“We’re all on the same page. We have been for the last seven or eight years.

“We have won things in the younger age groups and as they’ve matured, they’ve been fast-tracked. That’s how it works. That is the way to do it.

“I take your question that supporters want to win as well. Well, of course we do.

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“But what would you rather have: an Under-21 team going around on an open-top bus, or do you want your senior team to win?

“Because it’s about the senior team, at the end of the day. We’re here to support them.”