Still basking in the achievement of being named man of the match as England secured the point needed to win Group B, there is no danger of Adam Johnson losing sight of the real target – the title.
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Still basking in the "brilliant" achievement of being named man of the match as England secured the point they needed to win Group B, there is no danger of Adam Johnson losing sight of the real prize – the UEFA European Under-21 Championship title.
The winger was the only member of the starting lineup which had defeated Spain on Matchday 2 to keep his place against Germany in Halmstad and justified his selection with a lively display on the left flank as the teams played out a 1-1 draw, Jack Rodwell cancelling out Gonzalo Castro's early strike to send England into the semi-finals as group winners. "It was brilliant for me being man of the match," Johnson told uefa.com. "Obviously it was a good result. It was a shame we couldn't win. We obviously got off to a bad start but put that behind us pretty quickly and by the end we were the better team and did really well."
Strength in depth
The Middlesbrough FC midfielder believes the display by what was effectively England's reserve side – the half-time introduction of Joe Lewis for Scott Loach means all 23 players have now featured in Sweden – demonstrated the strength in depth that could propel Stuart Pearce's side to a first U21 title since 1984. "We made a lot of changes and the whole 23 have proved they can do a good job for the team," Johnson added. "We've got a good squad, we've shown that tonight, and everyone's together. We've got a lot of young lads in the squad who've played tonight and done really well. They're trying to show the manager what they can do and they did that. Hopefully he'll have a few headache problems for the semi-final."
'Focus and concentration'
Two years ago England lost out to hosts – and eventual champions – the Netherlands in the last four, and Johnson is determined to avoid a similar disappointment this time round. "It was all about getting through; the main thing is focus and concentration," he said. "It was important not to get beaten. We did that and now we can look forward to the semi-final. We go into that with fresh legs and hopefully we'll get the win we all want. We don't fear anyone. We're all focused on coming here and winning. If people say we're favourites we'll take that with a pinch of salt; we just have to concentrate on keeping our heads down and looking towards the semi-finals."