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20 May 2014

Winger fires treble in Wales win

NATHAN Redmond scored a stunning hat-trick for England’s Under-21s as they beat Wales 3-1 in their European Championship qualifier at the Liberty Stadium.

The Canaries starlet netted the only goal when the two sides met at the iPro Stadium back in March, but this time added two more to his tally as the hosts failed to cope with the winger’s pace and trickery.

England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate singled out Redmond’s performance for praise after the final whistle.

"I thought he was such a handful all night,” said Southgate after the game.

"The one area of his game he is looking to add is goals, and I think we are able to give him the freedom to play in more advanced areas.

"We have got three or four players that if we can get in one-versus-one situations, then they are devastating in attack. Tonight, his finishing matched the rest of his game.”

Redmond himself said it was his intention to be on the front foot from the opening minute.

"I tried to impose myself as much as possible and the coaching staff were just wanting me to start quite brightly as I didn’t do that in the first game at Derby,” said the 20-year-old.

"I wanted to impose myself and let the full-back know that he was in for a tough time.

"It’s good to score against them but I think it topped off a really strong performance from the lads today, we kept the ball well – we were a bit shaky at times and they caught us on the counter-attack, but I think overall it was a good performance from the team.”

The former Birmingham man, who made 39 appearances in all competition for Norwich last season, will now join up with Southgate’s squad for the Toulon Tournament in France, where they start by taking on Qatar on Thursday afternoon before facing Brazil, Korea and Colombia.

"I’m looking forward to a bit of sun! It will be a good tournament where some of the newer players will get to know some of the older players in the group,” added Redmond.

"They will be tougher tests. We’ve had tough tests away from home, especially last season, but this year we’ve had a few challenges and a few bumps but no really difficult tests. Hopefully we can try out our attacking play against better opposition.”

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