Goalkeeper Jason Steele said England were "bitterly disappointed" at their U21 finals displays, with Wilfried Zaha adding that the 1-0 loss to Israel summed up their frustrations.
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There was obvious frustration in the England camp after a third straight loss in Group A signalled a disappointing finale to a finals campaign that never got off the ground. Making his first appearance at a UEFA European Under-21 Championship tournament – after being the back-up goalkeeper in 2011 and in Israel – Jason Steele said it was the manner of the defeats that really hurt. Forward Wilfried Zaha, meanwhile, said it was their inability to take their chances which led to the the 1-0 loss against hosts Israel, as well as their overall showing.
Jason Steele, England goalkeeper
It's been hard from the start and we're bitterly disappointed, especially in the way that we've performed. If we had performed well and gone out in the same way you would not have been as disappointed. In that dressing room it's very depleted at the moment but we've got to pick ourselves up and go again. I'm sure we'll all learn from it, from the experience of how tough it has been out here in our future careers.
I'd never played before at the European Under-21 Championship in the two tournaments. I thank the manager for giving me the opportunity to play in such a prestigious tournament and unfortunately it never worked out for any of us, especially in the last game for me.
I'm just bitterly disappointing to have not turned up in any of the three games and to walk away empty-handed has pretty much summed our tournament up. We've worked really hard over the last two years, I think people underestimate how hard it is to actually qualify for the tournament. We've worked so hard and let ourselves down over the course of three games.
I think there a lot of faces in that dressing room that have got the potential to be very, very good players and senior internationals. Hopefully for them it will work out in their future careers. I'm sure this tournament and how disappointed they are can only drive them on to be even better.
Wilfried Zaha, England forward
To be honest, I think we were just unlucky today. We did all the right things really but never did it in the right place, the final third. That's the only problem we have and that's the problem we had throughout the whole tournament really. We should have just taken our chances and it would have made a difference throughout the tournament.
It's always good to get some experience. I'm glad I took part in it – we wish [it could have been] the way we wanted it [to be] but it's all about taking part really and I'm happy I was here. I've got my own things to work over the time that I have off. I just need to get my head down and work out what I need to do defensively and attacking wise as well. I've got a lot to do but I am looking forward to kicking on with Manchester [United] and England.
Personally, it's just more awareness and the end product that's all I need to work on and I'm sure I'll be able to do it. If I practise I know I can do it.