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Ukraine U19s v England U19s: Team ‘inspired’ by senior squad, says Paul Simpson

2:17 pm, 20th July 2018

Gareth Southgate’s men reached the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time in 28 years and the young side are looking to retain the U19 European Championship title in Finland, live on Sky Sports.

They began well with a 3-2 win against Turkey in Tuesday’s opening game, with manager Simpson declaring that the side are not feeling any pressure despite recent success across the England age groups.

“We don’t feel pressure [to retain U19 title], we feel inspired by it,” Simpson told the FA’s official website.

“What’s gone on in 2017 with our development teams and then what the senior team went on to do in Russia, I think these lads are all inspired by it.

“They’ve showed in the first game that they’ve got huge pride in pulling on the England shirt.”

England U19s must reach the semi-finals of the tournament to qualify for the U20 World Cup next year – of which England are also the current holders – but Ben Brereton says the team are focused on winning their current competition.

“We don’t feel any pressure, we just want to come out here and do what we enjoy and try to win the Euros again,” he said. “Last season was good, but we need to forget about that now and focus on this one.

“The first game is always the hardest, so we’re glad we got the win on Tuesday. I enjoyed it, I’m glad I got a goal and I thought the team was quality and we dug deep in the second half.”

Watch England U19s against Ukraine live on Sky Sports Football from 4.25pm on Friday.