VIDEO: Pearce plots Euro assault
Friday, 25 June, 2010
Stuart Pearce planning for the new season from South Africa.
Watch FATV's interview with Pearce about the Under-21s right now by clicking here.
England Under-21 Head Coach Stuart Pearce might be away with the World Cup squad in South Africa at the moment, but that hasn't stopped him from also plotting the forthcoming campaign for his Young Lions.
Pearce's team will take on Uzbekistan in August as they prepare for their remaining European Under-21 Championship qualifying games and he wants his players to hit the ground running when they get back into competitive action.
“September throws up Portugal away and Lithuania at home, our last two qualifiers and we've got to win them both," Pearce told FATV.
"We're really in a difficult position with the Greece defeat at the back end of the season, which has put us on the back foot a little bit, so this is an important match for us."
With players such as Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon and James Milner at the World Cup having been a part of Pearce's Under-21 team in recent years, the experience of international football at that level is important and the boss is keen to utilise the players now at his disposal.
“In my mind at the moment I'm looking to give one or two youngsters who have done particularly well at the end of the season the opportunity to play," he added. "For whatever reason I haven't had a game to give those players the chance to play and the experience that comes with it. There will be a lot of experience in the side but one or two that I will want to have a look at with a view to taking the team forward next season.”
And having seen England U17s taste success in Liechtenstein last month, where they lifted the UEFA European Championship, will Pearce be tempted to call upon the services of any of the gold-medal winning squad?
“I think players of that age group can stay where they are at the moment," he explained. "I've been really pleased with what I've seen from that age group having seen all their games live or on DVD. I'm very impressed with that group of players and I think they've got a great future in front of them, but my job is to make sure that when I call them up, they play.
“I think that they have a collective strength in the U17s, which is nice to see, they enjoy each other's company and they are professional in their outlook.
“But I just think there will be one or two that have maybe made an impact in the Premier League this year and those players need to be given their chance now.”