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England coach Steve Cooper sees hope in painfully familiar defeat to Spain

The England Under-17 manager believes his teams’s European Championship experience was positive despite the sting of losing on penalties

It may seem strange to hear an England coach talking about his players changing perceptions in the wake of a penalty shootout defeat that followed a familiar script, yet Steve Cooper has good reason to think the mood is shifting when it comes to how the country’s next generation of footballers are viewed.

The man in charge of the under-17 team who lost against Spain in gut-wrenching fashion eight days ago, when they conceded an injury-time equaliser before being beaten on spot-kicks in the European Championship final in Croatia, is not alone in believing England are starting to see the fruits of their labour after launching their DNA blueprint two and a half years ago.

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