Burnley winger Dwight McNeil features in frustrating start to Euros for England Under 21s
Dwight McNeil played 76 minutes as England Under 21s went down 1-0 to Switzerland in their opening group game at the European Championships in Slovenia.
The 21-year-old Clarets winger played out of position at left wing back at the Bonifika Stadium in Koper, as the Young Lions struggled to create in a disappointing team performance.
Alrhough McNeil showed in a couple of bursts up field what he is capable of, and he made important interventions defensively in each half, showing his defensive diligence, the 3-4-3 system deployed by Aidy Boothroyd didn’t play to his strengths.
The Swiss goal came shortly after McNeil was replaced by Ryan Sessegnon, and it remains to be seen whether McNeik retains his place in the side, or Boothroyd changes formation, for the second group D clash on Sunday against Portugal at Stozice Sports Park in Ljubljana.
England then conclude their group games, with the top two nations in each group qualifying for the final stages in the summer, against Croatia, again at the Bonifika Stadium.
Boothroyd said: “We had a lot of the ball, but you need to do more than that in the final third, we didn’t do enough.
”I thought we were very cautious first half, but we live to fight another day.
”We’ve got to start making changes so with the creative players we’ve got, we did really well up to the final third, but games are won there, and we didn’t do enough to score today.
”We made some wrong options and didn’t play the ball quickly enough, we like to play with width, depth and height and I don’t think we threatened their back line enough.
”We need to work on that and bring that out, and do better than we did today.”