Abraham hopes for more after hard start

Tammy Abraham and his colleagues in the England Under-21 side await their first goal of the European Under-21 Championship finals but the young striker is looking positively on the 0-0 draw in Friday’s opener.

England survived conceding a penalty 10 minutes from full-time against Sweden when that was struck straight at goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Their own chances to score had mostly been in the first half although those had been few and far between.

‘After conceding a penalty of course it is a good point for us,’ said Abraham. ‘We will take a point and we need a win now so of course we will go next game and give it our all, and hopefully I will get a few more chances.’

Nathaniel Chalobah and Lewis Baker were also in the side with Abraham playing as a lone striker. He was limited to half-chances with a volley from a corner and an effort with back to goal the closest he came.

‘I had to improvise in the moment, whatever came into my head at the time,’ he said of that second effort on goal. ‘I thought I would get more chances after that but unfortunately the chances did not come but we keep our heads up.

‘It was hard against Sweden and I knew what I was going into. They dropped deep and they liked to close me off and I knew what was coming, so we had to be patient but the chances didn’t come. But we will take the point.’

England U21s’ next game in Poland is against Slovakia on Monday at 5pm UK time before they play the hosts on Thursday. Slovakia beat the Poles 2-1 in their opening game so currently lead the group. With the format consisting of three groups which lead straight to semi-finals, only the group winners are guaranteed to go through with the best runner-up joining them.

England U21’s manager Aidy Boothroyd said: ‘It was important that we did get a solid start and we didn’t want to finish with no points but we did want to get three.

‘We were a little bit safe in our passing and we didn’t play out anywhere near as well as we can and I think a lot of the lads were glad to get the first game over with and move on to the next one.

‘When we’re at our best, we can give anybody in the world a game, but it’s one of those things and if you don’t play to your best, you make sure you don’t get beaten.’