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England Under-21s target semi-finals

22/06/2017

Tammy Abraham, Lewis Baker and Nathaniel Chalobah all started both of England Under-21s first two matches in the European Under-21 Championships.

Tonight they face hosts Poland, knowing that a win would send them through to the semi-finals.

England drew their first match 0-0 against Sweden, before coming from behind to beat Slovakia 2-1 on Monday.

The win put them top of the group, with only bottom-placed Poland to beat to go through to the knockout stages. A draw could still put England through if Sweden and Slovakia draw in the other match.

Chalobah spoke to the Official Chelsea website about the match.

‘I think we’re going to go into the game and not put too much pressure on ourselves,’ said Chalobah. ‘It is in our hands but we need a result. We’re playing against the host nation and they will have 15,000 fans behind them but that’s not for us to worry about. We’re in a better position than we’ve ever been and we just want to try to improve on that.

‘They’re a strong team, very passionate and they will have the crowd behind them. We need to use our experience, diffuse the situation and focus on our game because we need to perform and try to get a result.

‘We’ve got big characters in the changing room,’ the 22-year-old continued. ‘We’re a bunch of men in there, we have a lot of respect for each other and honesty is the key to being a team. Things were said at half-time, we took it on board and went out and gave a performance which deserved the win.’

Chalobah is also hoping that his performances in the tournament won't be missed by Blues boss Antonio Conte.

‘Hopefully the gaffer will be watching but regardless I have to try and do my best, I can’t do much more. If he’s watching that’s great,’ he said.

‘It’s my last time involved with the Under-21s, as it is for a few of the lads, and we just want to give everything. We’ve been to a few tournaments and they’ve not gone too well but we’re here now and we’re in a better position so we want to kick on from here.’

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