Andorra U21 vs England U21: Perfection impossible, says Carsley

Team news ahead of Andorra vs England in European U21 Championship Qualifying on Monday; kick-off 7pm.

Boss Lee Carsley admits he cannot demand perfection from his England U21s.

The Young Lions face Andorra on Monday having blown a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 in Slovenia on Thursday.

They sit third in Group G, five points behind leaders the Czech Republic having played a game less, in the race to reach Euro 2023.

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England U21 head coach Lee Carsley says he is not looking to make too many changes to his side as they prepare to take on Andorra

England were held to a surprise 3-3 draw in Andorra a year ago and Carsley knows his young squad are not the finishing article.

He said: “I’m often guilty of this, my expectation of this squad is I want them to be perfect every game. With the age of the players and at this point in their careers it’s not possible.

“I’m very wary my expectation levels are so high so I want to make sure we can fulfil the potential.

“Our application and attitude has to be right – and it has been for the two games. If we can match them physically and stand up in moments which will be tough we’ll be OK.”

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Highlights of the U21 European Championships qualifier between Slovenia U21 and England U21

On Thursday, Conor Gallagher and Cole Palmer gave the Young Lions a 2-0 lead after just 15 minutes in Slovenia but Mark Spanring and Dusan Stojinovic levelled as the hosts hit back in the second half.

Carlsey, though, believes the draw will help his squad in the long-term.

He said: “I had real mixed emotions after the game. It was such a positive, exciting, first half in terms of the way we played, the amount of chances we created, the variation in which we played in.

“We started the second half a bit slowly, not recognising we potentially had to ride out a rough patch, conceded a goal quite early and then conceded another set play.

“Apart from the two set plays it’s the understanding and having that recognition you need to see that patch of the game out, that we might need to go a little bit more compact and direct.

“We have spoken about it and the players recognise it, as have the coaches. I have been really pleased with the way they have reacted.”

Curtis Jones will be assessed after missing the draw with a groin problem with the Liverpool midfielder still waiting for his first appearance under Carsley having been banned for last month’s win over Kosovo.

England U21 squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Bursik (Stoke City), Etienne Green (St. Etienne), Josh Griffiths (Lincoln City, loan from West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Charlie Cresswell (Leeds United), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Anderlecht, loan from Manchester City), Valentino Livramento (Southampton), Clinton Mola (VfB Stuttgart)*, Luke Thomas (Leicester City)

Midfielders:Tommy Doyle (Hamburg, loan from Manchester City), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, loan from Chelsea), Jimmy Garner (Nottingham Forest, loan from Manchester United), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Cole Palmer (Manchester City), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur)

Forward: Folarin Balogun (Arsenal), Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United)**, Angel Gomes (Lille), Tyreece John-Jules (Blackpool, loan from Arsenal), Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal)

* Replaces Huddersfield Town loanee Levi Samuels-Colwill who had to withdraw due to injury

** Replaces Noni Madueke of PSV Eindhoven who had to withdraw due to injury

“We will wait to see how he reacts this morning, he will have some treatment again. We definitely won’t be taking any risks,” added Carsley.

“We’ll assess Curtis and make that decision a bit later.”

How to follow

Follow Andorra U21 vs England U21 with our live blog on Sky Sports website and app on Monday

England U21’s Euro 2023 qualifying campaign

September 7: England 2-0 Kosovo

October 7: Slovenia 2-2 England

October 11: Andorra vs England

November 11: England vs Czech Republic

March 25, 2022: England vs Andorra

March 29: Albania vs England

June 3: Czech Republic vs England

June 7: England vs Albania

June 10: Kosovo vs England

June 14: England vs Slovenia