Rio Ferdinand explains why England squad reminds him of Leeds side he joined

Harry Kane celebrates with Jamie Vardy after scoring the first goal for England

The defender helped the Championship club reach the Champions League semi-final in his first season at Elland Road.

England team group before the match

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that the youthfulness of England's squad for this summer's European Championships brings back memories of the Leeds United side that he joined in 2000, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

The likes of John Stones, Dele Alli and Harry Kane are all set to feature in their first major tournament in France, and Ferdinand has called on Roy Hodgson to instil a similar mentality to the one that he experienced during his time at Elland Road to help get the best out of the side.

England's Harry Kane and John Stones during training

"When you have a group of young guys – it happened when I went to Leeds, I went into a dressing room full of young guys – [there were the] same interests and the same ways about you and that is a strong bond," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"The environment has to be created, a winning mentality has to be created by the manager – that is his job.

"The tactics are standard but the environment he creates really does set the tone and the platform for if you can be successful."

Picture Supplied by Action Images

Though off-field problems have since seen the Whites fall into League One, and subsequently fail to mount a substantial promotion bid during any of their last five campaigns in the Championship, Ferdinand was part of a side that came close to conquering Europe.

United reached the semi-final of the Champions League during the centre-back's first season with the club, and it was arguably their fearless attitude to the competition that saw them overcome the likes of AC Milan, Lazio and Deportivo La Coruna to reach the last four.

England manager Roy Hodgson

And Hodgson will be hoping that his squad - many of whom are yet to experience the feeling of being knocked out of an international competition - adopt a similar approach during the tournament to ensure that they can go a long way, and perhaps clear the hurdles that proved just too big for Leeds' young side 15 years ago.

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