Last Updated: 13/10/18 11:34pm
Everton forward Ademola Lookman admits England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd was right to question his focus.
England boss Boothroyd criticised Lookman’s performance, fearing speculation over his future had affected him, after last month’s 2-1 win in Latvia.
Lookman responded with a man-of-the-match performance, scoring once in the 7-0 thumping of Andorra on Thursday as England booked their place at Euro 2019.
In the summer, the 20-year-old missed out on a move to RB Leipzig, where he spent part of last season on loan, and he conceded Boothroyd’s home truths have helped.
He said: “It’s very important (to hear criticism) because you can get caught up in this bubble. When someone tells you, is real with you and tells you the truth, it allows you to think and bring yourself back to reality.
“He spoke to me about it but I’ve just tried to put it behind me and move forward. I’m at Everton and I will do my best and train hard.
Spain vs England
October 15, 2018, 7:00pm
“I did (think the comments were fair). I feel more settled now, the transfer window is behind me so I’m getting my head down and working hard.
“You want to play, that’s my objective, and I hope to do that soon. What’s out of my hands is out of my hands.”
Lookman has made just three appearances for Everton this season and is yet to start in the Premier League.
He admitted he does not know when he will break into Marco Silva’s first XI but is determined to make an impact.
“I couldn’t tell you, I don’t know. There’s competition but I’m always in competition with myself. I can only affect what I can affect and that’s all I’m working on,” said Lookman, who joined the Toffees from Charlton in January 2017.
“I wouldn’t call it frustration. It’s just opportunity, I haven’t had as much opportunity as I would have liked and I need to keep going forward and working hard. I can’t just stop, I’ve got to keep going.”
Lookman may sit out Tuesday’s final Euro 2019 qualifier in Scotland, with Boothroyd expected to make changes but, after booking their place in Italy and San Marino, played down suggestions the Young Lions are tipped for the title.
“We’d like to be seen as favourites but we wouldn’t think of ourselves as favourites,” he added. “If we keep working hard and improving as a team, we’ll show what we’re about on the pitch and that’s the most important thing.”