Boothroyd gets his excuses in early

Aidy Boothroyd was quick to dismiss the England Under-21 manager job as an ‘impossible’ one as his team struggle to qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Championships after defeats to Switzerland and Portugal.

“The England senior men’s job was called the impossible job,” he said. “The England U21 team is the utterly impossible job.”

The former Watford manager blames the cherry-picking of the best young players to the national side for the lack of quality at Under-21 level.

“It’s not possible to win at all levels,” he added. “Part of the reason we haven’t won this for 37 years is to get players to the first team.

“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.”

Boothroyd’s Under-21’s face Croatia tonight, needing a win to progress. It could well be Boothroyd’s last game in charge.