Stuart Pearce says his Under-21s must learn from last night's defeat.
England 0-2 France
Under-21 International Match
The City Ground, Nottingham Forest FC
8pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009
Live on Setanta
Stuart Pearce experienced a disappointing return to the City Ground on Tuesday night as his England Under-21 side suffered their first home defeat since October 2005, losing 2-0 to France.
The former Nottingham Forest defender admitted his side must improve if they are to make an impact at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship which gets underway in June.
First-half strikes from Gabriel Obertan and Moussa Sissoko were enough to secure victory for the French and Pearce believes the game was lost in those opening 45 minutes.
“We were well beaten," he said. "We responded well after the break but we perhaps showed [the French] too much respect in the first half.
“Credit to [France] though. I thought they played very well, they counter-attacked us well and we’ll have to learn lessons from that."
Despite the defeat, Pearce says there is enough quality in the Under-21 age group to respond in a positive manner. Having remained undefeated in their Euro 2009 qualification campaign, Pearce's confidence is well founded.
“This group [of players] have been very good to me. There’s a lot of talent in our dressing room, but they always have to think about how they can improve.
“We didn’t play to the standard that I expect of them [against France]. They know that. But there's no point sulking about it, we have to learn from it.
1 Joe Hart, 2 Martin Cranie (17 Jack Rodwell, 85), 3 Andrew Taylor (15 Jamie O’Hara, 85), 4 Michael Mancienne, 5 David Wheater (14 Fabrice Muamba, 46), 6 Nedum Onuoha, 7 James Milner (18 Danny Welbeck, 71), 8 Tom Huddlestone, 9 Matt Derbyshire (19 Fraizer Campbell, 60), 10 Mark Noble (12 Craig Gardner, 71), 11 Adam Johnson
Substitutes 13 Scott Loach, 16 Lee Cattermole
Coach Stuart Pearce
1 Johan Carrasso, 2 Garry Bocaly, 3 Cheikh M'Bengue, 4 Paul Baysse, 5 Dorian Dervite, 6 Etienne Capoue, 7 Gabriel Obertan (17 Jirès Kembo Ekoko, 61), 8 Moussa Sissoko, 9 David N'Gog (18 Frédéric Nimani, 60), 10 Younousse Sankhare (14 Marvin Martin, 90+1), 11 Armand Traore (15 Yohan Mollo, 80)
Substitutes 12 Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik, 13 Lamine Gassama, 16 Johnny Placide
Goals Gabriel Obertan (26), Moussa Sissoko (35)
Coach Erick Mombaerts