Lee Carsley admits he cannot demand perfection from England Under-21s
Boss Lee Carsley admits he cannot demand perfection from his England Under-21s
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”