Former Sheffield Wednesday loan man Connor Wickham has admitted England Under 21s “let the country down” at the European U21 Championships.
“I don’t think there are any players who are going to be proud of what we put in,” said Wickham who played in the 1-0 defeat by Israel in the third and final game all of which were lost.
“Everyone was devastated,” said the striker who made six appearances on loan for the Owls from Sunderland.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you what has gone wrong. Going into the tournament we had a lot of confidence.
“We let the country down and we have let ourselves down in that tournament.”
He added: “We knew we had strength in numbers but obviously when it came down to it, we just weren’t good enough.”
Wickham will wait to see if he figures in the plans of Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland next season and Wednesday will be among the clubs monitoring that situation although it is likely Dave Jones will want to tie up a move for a striker earlier than that, even before the Portugal pre-season trip in mid-July if possible.
Meanwhile, another player who has been linked with Wednesday is central defender Sean St.Ledger.
The Leicester defender thought he had snatched a memorable draw for the Republic of Ireland against World champions Spain in New York yesterday when he fired home from close range after ‘keeper Iker Casillas had turned Stephen Kelly’s header onto the bar with nine minutes of their friendly left.
St Ledger said: “I went away celebrating, but it was actually a really good decision (for offside), having seen it again.”
Ireland, well supported in the Yankee Stadium, fell behind on 69 minutes when Roberto Soldado scored. Chelsea’s Juan Mata added to it a couple of minutes from time for the 2-0 win.