Pearce delight with 'gutsy' Lions
Thursday, 18 June, 2009
But Head Coach not getting carried away.
Stuart Pearce praised his ‘gutsy’ young Lions after they booked their place in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship Finals on Thursday evening.
Goals from Fraizer Campbell and James Milner ensured England claimed their second consecutive victory of the tournament against favourites Spain.
And Pearce says he was thrilled with the character and determination show by his players, especially after seeing Milner fail to convert a first-half penalty.
“I am pleased,” said Pearce. “I knew what I had behind me when I left England, with the character they have.
“We had to dig a ten man performance out. This was gutsy. I think we’re improving and we’ll have to improve again if we are to be successful
“We stuck to our game plan. We thought Spain would taper away a bit and we got stronger and stronger.”
Pearce also revealed that England Manager Fabio Capello phoned to congratulate both him and the squad on the result straight after the final whistle.
Pearce added: “Mr Capello phoned me to say congratulations and was pleased as punch with the result, so I’ve passed that onto all the boys in the dressing room.
“It’s great for the lads because these types of tournaments are an opportunity for them and they'll want to have Mr Capello's eyes on them."