Results required from Pearce's new boys
Wednesday, 02 September, 2009
England Under-21s Coach wants his team to start well in qualifiers
As Stuart Pearce prepares his Under-21 team for their first 2011 UEFA European Championship qualifiers, the Coach believes that his team have to hit the ground running and pick up maximum points away in Macedonia and Greece.
Before the squad met up this week, Pearce had only had a couple of days with the players during last month’s get together in Holland.
The 2-2 friendly in Groningen was a very important part of his side’s preparation for the competitive fixtures this month with a number of new players coming in to join the players with previous experience at this level.
The Three Lions’ last competitive outing was in Sweden, losing 4-0 in the Euro 2009 Final to Germany. Eight members of that squad are in the party heading to Macedonia and Greece and will know what to expect, but it’s the newcomers that Pearce believes will have to adapt quickly to the level.
“The game against Holland about three weeks ago was vital for us,” said Pearce. “I’ve got maybe eleven or 12 players who had not represented the squad at this age group before, and now we’ve got five qualifiers before November, so it was important they got their feet under the table.
“We can’t afford to drop too many points, that’s for sure, and we’re in a tough group, so that will be important to us.
“We need to have the camaraderie and the team cohesion working, There’s one or two who have come into the group this time and it’s a new environment for them.
“It’ll be the highest level that they play. Yes, some of them play for their clubs, but others are yet to make it into their first teams, so it’s important that they gain enough experience as they can. They will also be expected to get results while they are doing that.”
England’s first match is on Friday at 2.30pm (BST) away in Prilep, Macedonia. They then fly to Tripoli in Greece for their second game on Tuesday evening, ko 5.00pm (BST).
To stay up to date with the Under-21s throughout their campaign, stay logged on to TheFA.com or
become a Fan of Stuart Pearce's team on Facebook