VIDEO: Pearce joy at reaching play-offs
Tuesday, 07 September, 2010
Under-21s boss looking forward to next step.
Click here to watch the video interview.
Stuart Pearce was delighted after his England Under-21 side booked their place in October's European Championship play-offs with a 3-0 victory over Lithuania in Colchester.
Two late goals from Danny Welbeck, either side of Marc Albrighton's strike, earned the Young Lions three points and a place in Friday's play-off draw.
Pearce selected the same side that beat Portugal 1-0 on Friday night and the result was enough for England to make it to the play-offs as one of the four best runners-up in what is one of the toughest competitions to qualify for the Finals.
"As I said when we set off a year ago now, we had to get into the play-offs, then we have to go on and win it," he said.
"It was a patchy performance, but credit to Lithuania as they they made it difficult for us. It took us 75 minutes to erode them, the three substitutes gave us a lift and added some energy.
"We knew we would create chances. I was very pleased to see the ball hit the net. We're pleased to be through - the next challenge will be tougher than the group stages but I believe in the players.
"The fatigue of the opposition played a little bit of a part. There were some good performances - Mancienne and Henderson were good, Welbeck was outstanding - he's had a fantastic ten days.
"We know it's very difficult to progress. Even in our last qualification campaign we only conceded one goal in the group stages but went into the last game having to get a result.
"This will galvanise us, the spirit in the camp has been good over ten days and will stand us in good stead.
"This morning I watched England against Bulgaria seniors and watched Joe Hart, Theo Walcott, James Milner - and people tell us we don't have any talent coming through? I'm not so sure."