'My team have improved as players'
Tuesday, 30 June, 2009
Head Coach Stuart Pearce feels his squad has developed.
Stuart Pearce believes every player in the England Under-21 squad has improved, despite Monday night's disappointing 4-0 defeat to Germany in the final of the European Championship.
Players such as Kieran Gibbs, Joe Hart and Jack Rodwell are now being tipped as outside bets for next summer's World Cup Finals after a strong showing in Sweden.
Pearce believes that the two year campaign to reach the Finals proved that England's future is a promising one as they recorded their longest unbeaten run and reached their first major final in 25 years.
"For me, it's a step in the right direction," he said.
"The defeat gave me a little cold comfort this morning, but it gives me something to work with, to try and improve on that for two years time.
"Some of the players have really come on and they'll go back to their clubs as better players than when they joined us three weeks ago, so for their experience, it's been really good.
"I think part of developing players is learning how to win and how to get to cup finals; the pressure of getting to cup finals and winning semi-finals."
Pearce has re-iterated that he is delighted to be in charge of the Under-21s, having signed a two-year contract extension before the semi-final success over Sweden last week.
"I'm learning the profession that I'm in at the moment quite well here," he added.
"We've ended up after this two year campaign as the second best team in Europe.
"I enjoy doing this job and I'm enjoying working with Fabio Capello. I think I've got a lot to learn, certainly in another two year period and another campaign."