Areas for improvement
Thursday, 24 March, 2011
Despite 4-0 win, Stuart Pearce highlights where his team can get better.
By Jamie Bradbury in Denmark
Stuart Pearce said he was happy with his Under-21s side's work overall in Denmark on Thursday night, but has noted areas for improvement as they prepare for this summer's UEFA European Championship.
A 4-0 victory over the Finals hosts was the first victory for the Three Lions since they secured their spot at Euro 2011 in October. A first half goal from Danny Welbeck, followed by second half strikes from Scott Sinclair, man-of-the-match Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson wrapped up the comprehensive victory.
Now the team head to Preston North End for a meeting with Iceland, another of the eight European Finalists, on Monday night and Pearce is looking for another step forward.
"I was pleased with the result and the clean sheet, but I was disappointed with the first half performance as we didn't play particularly well," Pearce told TheFA.com. "We were too open in midfield and allowed the opposition too many chances.
"In the second half I thought we improved. In international football, to win a game is hard work, make no mistake. To win 4-0 away from home I am very pleased with.
"For me, it's a stepping stone towards the summer and hopefully one or two players showed me they're improving and getting better."
England will return to Denmark in June when they will face three tough group games against Spain and Ukraine in Herning, then Czech Republic back at the Viborg Stadium.
But before then, they have two remaining games as part of their important build-up campaign. On Monday it's Iceland in Preston and then an as yet unconfirmed match in early June prior to flying to the Finals.
Pearce added: "I've only got two games left now before we step out against Spain. We have to keep improving, we have to be full at it every game - I don't think we were today, but it was good enough to win the game.
"There was some decent performances in there. Danny Welbeck coming back from injury and Sturridge was outstanding, as was the goalkeeper in his first start.
Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children for the Iceland game on Monday.
To buy, visit the ticket office at Deepdale, call 0844 856 1966 or online at www.mypne.com .
"The only down side maybe was the fact we lost Micah early on in the game, but apart from that a lot of players have done a lot of good for themselves in regard to the squad.
"Micah's got a hamstring problem and he's diagnosed himself as being out for four weeks - that's Dr Richards for you. That could be four days though, as that's him diagnosing himself! Let's hope for Manchester City's sake and the preparation in the summer that it's not too long."