Pearce: 'We're focused on winning'
by Jamie Bradbury in Southampton
Saturday, 04 June, 2011
Three Lions Coach says his team are ready for European adventure.
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Stuart Pearce says his England Under-21s will be ready for their Euro challenge when they board the plane to Denmark on Wednesday and hopes that Sunday afternoon's meeting with Norway will provide the finishing touches to his preparation.
England are in Southampton for their final build-up match flying to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship ahead of their first Group B game against Spain in Herning next weekend and the former England defender says the squad are excited, and confident, about what is to come.
And after guiding the team all the way to the Final two years ago where they lost to Germany, Pearce is looking to go one better this time around.
"On Wednesday we embark on our UEFA European Championship campaign which we are determined will end with victory in Aarhus on 25 June. Everyone within the Under-21s camp is excited by what lies ahead and focused on winning a trophy for our country," he said.
"A number of our final 23-man squad, as well as most of the backroom staff, experienced the agony of defeat in the semi-finals four years ago and then to Germany in the 2009 Final and will work hard over the next three weeks to go one step further.
"Most nations revere this competition and young players realise it’s a fantastic tournament to be involved in. It showcases them on a European stage and added to that a lot of teams will take players who have senior international experience to bring to the Under-21s."
And Pearce says that the last week training and relaxing as a squad at their camp in southern Spain was a perfect way to prepare for the rigours of the coming tournament.
"To spend a week away together at a training camp in Spain was an important period for us to not only rest the minds of the players but to nail down some things we need to get right before we go on the plane. Today is our last match before the tournament and a final opportunity for the players to help me make my mind up over selection for the game against Spain next week."
He added: "Norway will provide us with not only the chance to look at things ahead of the Finals but they are also in our qualifying group for the next campaign so we can see how strong they are."
You can follow all of the latest news and updates from inside the England camp this summer here on TheFA.com, as a fan on the team's official Facebook page or by following @thefadotcom on Twitter.