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Smalling confident of Young Lions progress

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Chris Smalling feels England Under-21s have given themselves a solid base from which they can progress to next summer's European Championships by overcoming Romania at the Municipal Stadium in Botosani .

Manchester United centre-back Smalling scored his first goal for the Young Lions, which secured a slender 2-1 lead to defend from the first leg at a capacity Carrow Road on Friday night.

The 20-year-old believes Pearce's youngsters have what it takes to get another positive result, and said: "We are only halfway through what is hopefully going to be that road to Denmark. They haven't conceded many goals lately, but we haven't either."

He added: "I have played alongside Micah (Richards) for a few of the games and Jonah [Phil Jones] has come in and done really well.

"That was the first time we have conceded a goal since we have been playing together, and it was a bit fortunate too.

"But hopefully we can get that solid base going again and keep a clean sheet in Romania."

Smalling continued: "In the last four or five games the team has really come together and the manager has stressed that.

"We have bonded well and stayed consistent.

"Hopefully that will pull us together as we're all striving for that end goal.

"A lot of us are trying to progress into our clubs, but playing in a pressure game like these is definitely going to stand us in good stead and hopefully we can play in that tournament in the summer, because that will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of us young lads."

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Chris Smalling
Internationals
Football

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