England Under-21s Coach says preparation is key during week-long training camp
Stuart Pearce says this week's training camp in Turkey will be where much of the hard work will be done as England Under-21s build for the European Championship
The young Lions arrived in Turkey on Monday evening as they prepare for their opener in Israel next week.
Pearce's side, who are on a run of nine straight wins without conceding a goal, face Italy in Tel Aviv to kick-off their Championship challenge.
And the Coach says this week will be about building the right spirit and mentality within the squad.
"We’ll work mornings and mornings only. Like we have done in Spain ahead of previous tournaments, we’ll make sure the team spirit is good and the focus is right," he told TheFA.com.
"Ahead of us getting on the plane to Israel, this week is when we’ll do the bulk of our work.
"We don’t want to slog the players too much physically, the mental side of relaxing them is very important.
"Work regarding set-plays, pattern of play, it has to be done in this period. When you get into tournament football it’s all about playing and recovery, playing and recovery."
Pearce is drawing on the experience from previous tournaments with the Under-21s. England are the only nation to reach the last four successive Finals, and the former England left-back has led them on each occasion.
Having reached the Final and semi-finals during his last three attempts, Pearce and his side are going to Israel with just one objective, and that's to win the Championship.
"If I roll the clock back and look at my preparation three tournaments ago, I was unsure in my own mind of what worked and what didn’t, in regard to the preparation week.
"I now know full well what is the right thing to do as I’ve seen the results of that. Getting the balance between rest and focus.
He added: "The one thing you do know is that the team who starts the tournament will not be the team that finishes it, that is a fact.
"I don’t think any team has ever relied on just eleven players for every game, certainly not the winning team.
"You need to make sure you keep injuries to a minimum, making sure recovery is right, and not over-cook the players at the end of the season when they have had a long season.
"They are the important things to think about when you are going into a tournament."
England kick-off their Finals campaign against Italy in Tel Aviv on 5 June and you can keep updated with us inside the camp, here on TheFA.com, via Twitter @FA or the official England Facebook page...