VIDEO: There's no better time
Monday, 09 August, 2010
Pearce believes it’s a good time to be young, English and talented.
Click here to watch the full FATV interview with Pearce.
Stuart Pearce believes there isn’t a better time for young English players to try and progress internationally than over the next few years, but also warned of the pitfalls of doing too much, too soon.
Over the last year, Pearce has seen the likes of Joe Hart and James Milner progress from his Under-21 team and into Fabio Capello’s squad and more recently, both Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs have made the step up so the pathway is there for those who earn it.
And speaking to FATV ahead of Tuesday’s game with Uzbekistan in Bristol, Pearce gave hope for any young players with an eye on breaking through at international level.
"There probably isn't a better time if you're a young English player, showing potential,” he revealed.
"You'll get pushed forward and that's a good thing in some respects but we have to very careful too.
"It's easy for newspapers to put in their columns to get rid of the old and put in the new.
"But as we've seen in the past, you have to blood young players, put them in at the right time, take them out. That's what you do at club level and it's probably the same at international level as well, to make sure they're ready to cope with the pressures and rigours of international football.
"It's quite an unforgiving forum, as we've seen many times.”
As an experienced England international himself, winning 78 caps over his career, Pearce knows more than most what is required to play regularly at that level.
It’s not just ability that is needed, but also mental strength which can often prove crucial at the highest level.
"It's important that the likes of myself and the club managers and staff involved make sure that when we do put players in, we feel that they are ready for it both ability wise and, probably more so, mentally,” he added.
"It is a very big mental strain playing for your country and you have to be strong and handle that.
"If you look at the two boys who have come through the Under-21 ranks last summer in Joe Hart and James Milner, they're strong mental characters and that's helped push them through and is one side of their game which suggests to me they will have long international careers.
"You need to be mentally strong to play at that standard on a regular basis.”
Click here to watch the full interview with Pearce.
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