Lee Carsley admitted that he still has improvements to make – even after leading England’s Under 21s to a first European Championship title in 39 years.
The Young Lions lifted the crown in Georgia two months ago, beating Spain in a dramatic final, and Carsley has retained seven of that squad for the next qualifying campaign.
That kicks off in Luxembourg on Monday – the likes of Harvey Elliott, Noni Madueke and Cole Palmer are all set to feature – with Carsley having agreed to remain as head coach after talks with FA technical director John McDermott.
‘I feel fortunate to have this job,’ Carsley said. ‘I coach the best players in England every camp. I have the pick of the best players in England and feel a real responsibility with that.
‘It’s something I don’t take for granted. I’m not looking out of the window to see what’s out there.
England Under 21 manager Lee Carsley wants to win more silverware with the nation
Carsley (left) guided England’s Under 21s to a first European Championship title in 39 years two months ago
‘I sat down with John to review the last two years, what went well and what I can do better. You always want to make sure that you’re the best person for the job.
‘The challenge with this group is ultimately to be better than the last group. So there’s loads of things to improve, especially with myself: tactically and recognising patterns quicker in games.
‘It’s something that we as a staff are all trying to do better. We can be better out of possession. The challenge is to do it again with another group.’
England’s U21 ranks boast a host of Premier League talents and Carsley admitted he feels ‘fortunate’ to have his job
Carsley (middle) has also brought Brighton midfielder Adam Lallana (right) into his coaching set-up
Carsley has lost Joleon Lescott from his coaching staff but did retain Ashley Cole, with Brighton midfielder Adam Lallana part of the backroom team for the next five games over three camps.
Lallana travelled with the team to Luxembourg yesterday and could continue beyond Christmas if the move proves successful.
‘The mentoring with the players is very important and something that Joleon did for us,’ Carsley added. ‘I approached Adam. He’s really interested in coaching and development.
‘Having a current Premier League player, I think it’s been good that he’s been spending time informally with the players off the pitch and recognising where they are on the journey to help them.’