Skipp ready to dig deep for City and England U21s
- Credit: PA
Oliver Skipp is ready to dig deep if Daniel Farke does need him to play twice in 48 hours next week but the midfielder also believes Norwich City's squad is good enough to cope with the unusual demands of their trip to Preston.
The Tottenham Hotspur loanee has joined up with the England Under-21s for the group stages of the European U21 Championship in Slovenia, alongside Canaries colleague Max Aarons.
That kicks off against Switzerland on Thursday (2pm), followed by clashes with Portugal on Sunday and Croatia next Wednesday - less than 48 hours before the Canaries are due to return to their Championship promotion push at Deepdale.
Skipp is one of seven City players who could have their availability for the game at Preston affected by their international demands, which has left Farke annoyed by the EFL scheduling Good Friday games.
“If we were in England or, say Scotland, then it would be potentially much easier but the fact that there’s travel involved, we’ll potentially get back Thursday morning perhaps having played on Wednesday, I don’t know," Skipp said.
“So from the physical point of view it will be very difficult to be involved in that Friday game but I’d always want to be involved as a player.
“I feel like I’d be able to play consecutive days but it’ll be up to the boss’s decision. I can’t comment at the moment, I’d have to see how my body feels, but I’ll definitely be pushing to be involved in some aspect regardless of if I play twice in 48 hours.
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“But on that, I think the Norwich squad will be able to deal with that. It will give other players, that perhaps haven’t played the minutes that they want, chances to impress - if they feel that we’re not able to be selected.”
The Young Lions need to finish in the top two in their group to reach the quarter-finals, which are due to begin in late May, and having started all 38 of City's games so far this season Skipp is hoping to have a major part to play.
“For me personally, this season has been brilliant," said the Spurs prospect. "Playing regular football in the Championship, it’s not the Premier League but you can see how competitive the Championship is and teams that have gone up, like Leeds, have shown that they’ve got quality.
“So it’s been really good for me just to get regular men’s football and to play Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, just to build up that strength to play those games regularly.
“So far, touch wood, I haven’t had any injuries so just to get that level of consistency every week is something that you really build.
“You just want to look forward, keep pushing and the rest will take care of itself really. There’s no point looking too far ahead, I’m just looking towards these games and to finish the rest of the season strongly.
That’s what I’ll be looking to do and whatever happens from there, happens.”
Skipp has seven caps at U21 level so far and was a regular starter for Aidy Boothroyd during qualification but is preparing for his tournament experience.
England won the U21 Euros twice in the early 80s but have often disappointed in the tournament. Former Norwich academy coach and Watford manager Boothroyd succeeded Gareth Southgate in 2016 and took a squad including Jordan Pickford, James Ward-Prowse and Tammy Abraham to the 2017 semi-finals.
Canaries players Nathan Redmond and Jacob Murphy were part of that group, with Redmond the unfortunate player to have the crucial penalty saves in a 6-5 shootout defeat to Germany.
Two years ago the Young Lions didn't reach the knockout stages, losing to France and Romania, and drawing with Croatia - with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harvey Barnes and Mason Mount among the players in the squad, as well as former City star James Maddison and current Canaries midfielder Kieran Dowell.
“When you’re representing England at any level there’s always an element of pressure," continued Skipp.
“I feel like us as a group will be able to cope with that and just make sure that we do the basics right to let our football and the quality in the group do the rest.
“It’s one that we’re all looking forward to and one that we hope we can represent our country to the best of our abilities.”
The Premier League regulars in the current squad include former Canaries defender Ben Godfrey thanks to his impressive Everton form, as well as Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Burnley winger Dwight McNeil.
Skipp knows he and Aarons are among some top talent but he believes the squad are well aware of the need to avoid over-confidence.
“I think this squad has got a lot of talent in it," he added. "When you look at the forward areas, everywhere really, but as you’ve mentioned we can’t become complacent.
“We know that some of them are playing for the biggest clubs in England but we need to make sure we are it at it come the first game and doing everything right to avoid that complacency.
“This group has shown in qualifying that there’s team spirit amongst us and I think that will really help us in those group games.
“The talent is there for everyone to see but we have to make sure we harness that in the right way throughout these games.”
- All of the Young Lions' games are being shown live on Sky Sports