England U19s coach Paul Simpson believes there are lessons for his young Lions to learn following a 3-1 loss to Germany at the One Call Stadium on Tuesday night.
Simpson’s side found themselves two down inside four minutes after Bayern Munich’s Adrian Fein broke the deadlock after 62 seconds and Schalke’s Benjamin Goller doubled their lead.
Reiss Nelson, of Arsenal, pulled one back for the young Lions before Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havert curled one into the top corner in stoppage time.
Simpson said: “I think there’s a big lesson for us to learn.
“You have to start the game from the first whistle. I thought we showed really good character to get ourselves back in to it. Scored a great goal and had other opportunities to get in behind them.
“The final goal was just us chasing and trying to get back in. Their number 10 showed the quality he’s got. He’s got Champions League experience and that’s the level we’re trying to get our lads to.
“It was a great learning experience for us. It’s been a fantastic nine days with this group. We’ve learned a lot of new things. Hopefully we can get stronger and stronger as we go through.”
Simpson hopes his young Lions will be better for the experience.
“We just didn’t start the game very well. We want to play football but as a group we have to recognise where the spaces are. We kept trying to force things through the middle, when the bet thing to do would have been to use the width.
“They made it difficult to play through, won it back and caught us on the counter-attack. We weren’t quick enough to recover and so there are lessons to learn. It’s a lesson we’re going to keep learning through this because they’re only young players,” he said.
And added: “You look at their (Germany’s) record through the age groups over a number of years now but people are looking at us because of what’s happened in the summer and thinking we’re the ones to beat.
“We’re not arrogant enough to think we’re the finished article. We know there’s still a lot of work to do. We’ll continue to do that with our national coaches and our fantastic facilities at St George’s Park to make each group better.
“There’s no shortage of talent in this whole 1998 age group that we’re working with. There’s some really good players and there are talented players who weren’t with us for this camp who might be available for the next one.
“We’ll keep building and keep doing our work.”