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Lads take positives from Under-21 duty

Posted on 18 November 2014  - 19:00

Our trio of England Under-21 players all took positives despite defeat against France on Monday night.

Tom Carroll - skipperHarry Kane - made it eight goals in 10 caps for U21sAlex Pritchard - first start for U21s

Harry Kane scored both goals as the Young Lions led 2-0 before falling to a 3-2 defeat in torrential rain in Brest. That took his tally to eight goals in 10 caps for the Under-21s.

Tom Carroll had the honour of captaining the team for the second time while it was a first start for midfielder Alex, who played his part in the second goal.

It was job done for Harry, who spoke beforehand about his aim of maintaining his goalscoring momentum - eight in 10 for us before joining up - on the international break.

His two goals in the space of four minutes put England 2-0 up and made it 14 goals in all competitions for club and country this season.

“It was great to get on the scoresheet and to keep the confidence high going into Hull at the weekend,” he said.

“The conditions were tough, very wet, lots of rain and that made it difficult to play how we wanted to, but these are the games we have to learn from, a tough game away from home against a good side. We’ll look to learn from it and move forward into the New Year.

“When you go away on international duty you want some minutes and to maintain goalscoring form to take back to the club. I was able to to that and now I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Tom took great pride in leading his country out for the second time at Under-21 level and looked to drive the team on from central midfield.

“As soon as the manager told me I was captain I was absolutely buzzing,” said the midfielder currently on loan in the Premier League at Swansea. “It’s a great honour and a proud moment for me and my family to lead the country out.

“It was a great feeling and a fantastic honour for any player. To even play for your country is the best feeling in the world and to be captain is another level.

“I don’t think it was the worst result in the world, France were a really good team and tests like that are ideal ahead of the finals next summer.

“We’ve played top European opposition like Portugal and France with Germany and Czech Reoublic to come next March and matches like that give us a real insight to what we’re all about.”

For Alex, currently impressing on loan at Brentford in the Championship, it was all about continued progression and his first start for the Under-21s after a couple of substitute appearances.

“It was a great honour to get my first start for my country and to play against one of the best teams in Europe,” he said.

“It was tough out there, difficult conditions to play our football but I was pleased with my performance. It was hard to get into the game at times and they had a lot of the ball but I thought we countered really well.

“My form for Brentford is going to be the key to getting into the squad for the finals so I'm concentrating on that. I believe in my own ability and that I will be there."