England U21s ready to win Euros, says James Ward-Prowse

By Ben SmithBBC Sport in Olomouc, Czech Republic
James Ward-Prowse
James Ward-Prowse made 30 appearances for Southampton last season

James Ward-Prowse says England U21s are "set up" to win the European Championship in the Czech Republic.

Gareth Southgate's side start their campaign against Portugal on Thursday.

England are second favourites behind the highly fancied Germans, with double-defending champions Spain having failed to qualify.

"We are not here just to take part and look pretty, we are here to win the tournament," the 20-year-old Southampton midfielder told BBC Sport.

European Championships 2015
Group AGroup B
Czech RepublicEngland

"All the players and staff are very determined. Our preparations have been spot on and there are no excuses for us not to be successful.

"We have had great preparation leading up to the tournament, the group of players we have, we are set up to go and win this tournament."

England were finalists in the competition in 2009 in Sweden, where they lost to Germany, but did not win a game at the last tournament in 2011.

Ward-Prowse said previous failures would act as a warning for the current squad.

"I've been in tournaments before when it hasn't gone right and it isn't pretty," said Ward-Prowse, who has played in 11 wins and one draw for England.

"But we are all determined that we can learn from those experiences and go into this tournament believing we can take English football forward."

England will train at their base in the Czech city of Olomouc on Tuesday before the Group B game with Portugal on Thursday, and will then face Sweden on Sunday and Italy next Wednesday.

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