Downes Set to Win Fourth England U19s Cap
Wednesday, 21st Mar 2018 09:52
Blues midfielder Flynn Downes, who is currently on loan at Luton, could win his fourth England U19s cap this afternoon when the Young Lions face Hungary in the opening game of their European Championships elite qualifying mini-group in Skopje, Macedonia (FreeSports - Sky channel 424, Freeview 95 - from 12.55pm, KO 1pm).
Following today’s game the England youngsters face Latvia on Saturday and the hosts next Tuesday.
Fellow Blues midfielder Tristan Nydam, 18, was also named in the squad but pulled out having suffered a knock in last week’s 3-0 defeat to Hull City.
If England win their group they will reach the finals in Finland in July where they will defend the title they won in Georgia last summer, a team which featured currently-injured Blues midfielder Andre Dozzell, who still qualifies for the U19s.
Downes has now made seven starts for the Hatters, who are now second in League Two, three points behind Accrington Stanley, having gone five games without a win.
Manager Nathan Jones says he is pleased with the 19-year-old’s form since he joined them on deadline day in January.
"They've watched him, I have spoken to [England U19s boss] Paul Simpson there and the people I know within the England set-up – Mark Robson and so on. Look, he's a big part of what they do,” Jones told the Luton official site.
"He's gone, he's played well when he's gone away with them before. Obviously he has come here and he has done well, he has impressed.
“It's good, he's come here to continue his development albeit whilst helping us to try and get promoted. It's disappointing for us he'll be out of our squad [while he’s away], but at least it's part and parcel of his continued development.
"I think he has [performed as well as I was expecting], especially at home. Away from home he has had to dig in slightly more. He hasn't been as fluent away, but neither have our performances away from home.
"At home we have really shown some quality, he's been part and parcel of some real good performances in terms of the Exeter game [a 1-0 win] and the Crawley game [a 4-1 victory].
“Even the Accrington game [a 2-1 loss] and the Cheltenham game [2-2], we moved the ball very well and we did what we had to, just circumstances have meant we haven't picked up the points we would have liked to have done."
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