Stuart Pearce says he has learned a great deal about his young players who earned a draw against Poland.
International Under-21 Friendly
7pm, Tuesday 25 March 2008
Molineux, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Tickets, priced £10 adults and £5 concessions, will be available from the Wolves Ticket Office on 0871 880 8433 or via www.wolves.co.ukStuart Pearce says he has learned a great deal about the young England players who were given the opportunity to gain valuable international experience as the Under-21s drew with Poland.
Pearce left out a number of his key players from his selection last week, as he looks to build a strong squad that can help England quailfy for the UEFA European Championship in Sweden next Summer.
That allowed him to name a starting eleven that included three debutants and three players making their first starts, while he also handed three more debuts in the second half.
"There was a lot of positives, one or two would have been nervous as it was their first call-ups, let alone caps. All round though I was pleased and I think every game tells you something.
"It was a difficult match for us, we certainly didn't play an opposition that would make it easy for us. We'd have liked to have won the game, but I think I've learned enough out of the performance to have made it a worthwhile exercise.
"There were a lot of players making their debuts, and we've only had them together for one day on the training pitch, and I think at times that showed. But to a man they put a shift in physically, and when the dust settles tomorrow, we'll have learned a great deal about one or two of them."
Pearce added: "When we talk about the players who have been around the squad before, the likes of Andrew Surman, Cameron Jerome and Luke Moore, they've not had a great deal of time on the pitch.
"Adam Johnson played well and was given Man of the Match, but even he has only had a couple of starts. So they'll all benefit from the experience.
"We didn't do enough to win the game, and a draw was probably a fair result. We are difficult to beat, at times we were opened up in the middle of the park which is unlike us.
"But, once again we've been very difficult to score against and when we needed, the goalkeepers have helped us out. I know what Joe Hart can do, so when Tom Heaton came on to make his debut he looked assured, pulling off a good save, which would have given him confidence, too.
"We've got another friendly against Wales on 15 May in Wrexham and that game, and tonight, could be invaluable to us as we look to the final stages of qualifying for next summer's European Championship.
"Bearing in mind we've left six or seven players out of this squad that I know all about, the Taylors and the Milners of this world, these games will help build up experience around the squad.
"It was nice to have a night like tonight when players who have been patient this season get 90 minutes under their belt. There's also players like Fox, Dann and O'Hara who have been doing well with their clubs since Christmas and have deserved their chance.
"Everyone on the bench has got on the pitch and played some kind of football and everyone here should go away tonight pleased with their contribution and pleased they have more experience at international level."The Teams
1 Joe Hart (13 Tom Heaton), 2 Michael Mancienne, 3 Daniel Fox, 4 Andrew Surman (15 Joe Mattock) , 5 Nedum Onuoha (c), 6 Ryan Shawcross (16 Scott Dann), 7 Craig Gardner (17 Grant Leadbitter), 8 Jamie O'Hara, 9 Cameron Jerome (12 Fraizer Campbell), 10 Luke Moore (14 Matt Derbyshire), 11 Adam JohnsonCoach
1 Przemyslaw Tyton, 2 Adam Kokoszka, 3 Jakub Rzezniczak (c), 4 Przemyslaw Kocot, 5 Piotr Polczak, 6 Piotr Kuklis (14 Dawid Jarka, 76), 7 Szymon Pawlowski, 8 Kamil Glik, 9 Cezary Wilk (13 Adam Danch, 46), 10 Rodoslaw Majewski, 11 Dawid Janczyk (17 Robert Lewandowski, 76)Subs
12 Wojciech Szczesny, 15 Witold Cichy, 16 Artur Marchiniak, 18 Michal RenuszCoach
Rzezniczak, Kuklis, WilkReferee
Kevin Blom (Ned)Assistants
Berry Simons and Rob van Deven (both Ned)Fourth official
Andre Marriner (Eng)Attendance
28,178Nationwide Man of the Match
Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough)