Lee Carsley: Flexibility of players gives me lots of options when picking team

England Under-21 manager Lee Carsley believes the versatility of his players gives him plenty of options to find ways of winning as he looks to secure their place in the knockout stages of the European Championships.

Victory over Israel on Sunday would take England into the quarter-finals, having won their opening game in the tournament for the first time since 2009, when they reached the final.

Carsley’s team selection in beating the Czech Republic saw him pick seven midfielders, with Newcastle winger Anthony Gordon playing as a striker.

The manager thinks that flexibility is advantageous.

“We’ve tried to come up with two or three ways of exploiting the opposition,” he told a press conference.

“We’ll try and find gaps and spaces. It surprises me that there is surprise (at his team selection). The players nowadays are multi-functional.

“I see that we’ve got a lot of players within this squad that can do different roles.

“Part of the squad selection was having that flexibility to play with a different kind of nine (striker).

“I see pretty much any of the forward players, whether they’re wide players or forwards, being able to do that nine.

“You get a different type of nine with Anthony than you would with Cole (Palmer) or Curtis (Jones) or Emile (Smith Rowe). We’ve got plenty of options.

“The way we’ve picked the squad, when we make a change it shouldn’t affect the team too much.”

Manchester City midfielder Tommy Doyle will miss the game against Israel, who drew 1-1 with defending champions Germany, after he sustained a minor knee problem in training while Norwich defender Max Aarons is ill.

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