Daily Mirror


Young Lion Liam ready to have a taste of success

- BY SIMON BIRD @SimonBird_

MANCHESTER CITY striker Liam Delap has insisted England are on track to win the Under-19 European Championsh­ip.

The youngster fired Ian Foster’s kids into a semi-final against Italy in Trnava tomorrow as they racked up their third Group B win against Israel.

Brighton aim to seal a loan move for Delap next season after City brought in Erling Haaland, and he is confident his internatio­nal summer will end with a trophy.

Asked if England could triumph in Slovakia, Delap, 19, said: “One hundred percent. All the lads are so confident in each other. The togetherne­ss and the spirit around the camp is amazing, so of course we believe we can do it.

“It’s unbelievab­le, the lads are closely-knit and so together. I think we can celebrate topping the group, but the hard work starts now for the Italy game.

“I put my goal in the roof of the net. It was a great feeling to score and then go on to win the game 1-0.”

Reaching the semi-finals means England have also qualified for next year’s U20 World Cup.

England won the U19 Euros in 2017 with a squad that featured Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Reece James, with Aaron Ramsdale in goal.

Coach Foster has started 19 of his 20-man squad in three games and he said: “If someone would’ve offered me nine points, three clean sheets, no injuries, no suspension­s, I’d have absolutely bitten your hand off.

“I thought we had one or two moments when we could’ve been a bit more ruthless in the final third, but overall it was always going to be challengin­g.

“We made seven changes, which is never easy, but by securing qualificat­ion early, it was a great opportunit­y for us to give 19 of the 20 players starts, which we’re delighted about. So everyone’s had a taste of it.”

Group A winners France will play Israel in the other semi-final in Dunajska Streda.

 ?? ?? LIONS ON TOP Delap is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the winner against Israel
LIONS ON TOP Delap is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the winner against Israel
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