We're going for the win says Pearce
Sunday, 10 October, 2010
England fly to Romania for second leg of play-off without Marc Albrighton.
England Under-21s fly out to Romania on Sunday afternoon and will be without Aston Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton, who has returned to his club.
Albrighton came off the bench in Friday night's 2-1 Euro 2011 play-off first leg win over the Romanians at Carrow Road and it was his corner that eventually fell to Chris Smalling to smash home the winner.
However, Pearce's travelling party to Botosani for Tuesday afternoon's return encounter is reduced to 19 players as the 20-year-old will return to Villa Park for treatment on an injury.
As the Three Lions prepared to board their flight to northern Romania, Pearce was focused on building on Friday's result. They'll take a slender one-goal lead with them and Pearce says his side are going out for another win to secure their place in next summer European Championship Finals in Denmark.
"We knew exactly what they were going to offer, and it was a really tight game," Pearce said. "It was a very good advert for Under-21s football and if I was a neutral, I would have enjoyed it more."
"It is totally in the balance for Tuesday night, but we are going to go to Romania and try to win another game."
After a defeat to Greece in March, Pearce's side was refreshed as the new season started with a number of young players joining his squad for the first time. The Young Lions have won all four games since August, conceding just one goal, and the improvements on the pitch have pleased Pearce.
He has also seen the likes of Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones, Villa's Albrighton and Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson come into the side a perform superbly. Henderson was even on the scoresheet in Friday's first leg smashing home a dipping volley that gave England a 1-0 lead.
"We see it every day in training and he has got some real quality," said of the 20-year-old. "The goal he took would grace any pitch."
He continued: "We are improving as a team, and if we are fortunate enough to win the game on Tuesday night then we have another eight months of improvement to have and then go to the Championship.
But after being pushed all the way on Friday by a physical and quick counter-attacking Romanian side, Pearce knows his side will have their work cut out in Botosani.
"Credit to the Romanians, because they did really well, but they will have to come out against us on Tuesday, and it might be a totally different game. That might just play into our hands.
"They will not have the numbers crowd-wise, but it will be a passionate affair, there is no mistake about that. The Romanians will be desperate to get to the finals next summer.
"We think we have got enough quality in our squad to go and get a result in Romania. It is 50/50 once again, two good sides going head to head and one good side won't get to the Finals." Pearce added.
"There will be lesser teams at the finals next summer, we just hope we are good enough to be one of the sides going."
The match kicks off at 2.30pm local time on Tuesday, which is 12.30pm (BST), and will be broadcast live on ESPN.