VIDEO: 'Hit the ground running'
Wednesday, 31 August, 2011
U21s Coach confirms Kyle Walker's withdrawal from Three Lions squad.
Tickets are still available at just £10 for adults and £5 for children by clicking here
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Check out the VIDEO from today's Press Conference or watch the highlights from training here
As Stuart Pearce prepares his new-look Under-21s side for their opening Euro 2013 Qualifier he confirmed that Tottenham defender Kyle Walker has withdrawn from the squad through injury.
The Young Lions take on Azerbaijan at Watford in what is their first run out of the brand new campaign, and Pearce hopes his team can hit the ground running.
Pearce has guided the Under-21s to three consecutive UEFA Finals tournaments and wants to make it four in Israel in two years time.
"We've just lost Kyle Walker," said Pearce. "And two of the lads have got slight little niggles, Josh McEachran and Nathan Baker, so we're going to wait until tomorrow before we make a final decision on those two."
He added: "I'll speak with the players this evening about the expectations and what we're planning for over a two-year period from now on and that expectation will be to win this trophy again.
"Anything that falls short of that, I'll be disappointed with. But I've also got to look and say this summer we qualified three times in a row for this under-21 tournament. No other team in Europe's done that.
"While I and the squad and maybe the media in England were disappointed with us not getting out of the group, one thing's for sure, Germany, Italy and France weren't even at the tournament."
And Pearce said that his side have the opportunity to impress at Vicarage Road and get their season off to a perfect start.
"I'm quite excited by tomorrow night and not sure what to expect at the moment. We've got a lot of ability in there and expectation on one or two young shoulders.
"But they've got an opportunity to show that they're good enough and we've got to hit the ground running."
To follow England Under-21s in the build up to the game, and their fixture at Barnsley on 5 September, log on to TheFA.com, follow at www.twitter.com/thefadotcom or like at www.facebook.com/EnglandU21s
England face Azerbaijan in their opening Group 8 encounter at Watford on Thursday 1 September (7.30pm BST) with tickets still available at just £10 for adults and £5 for children by calling 0844 856 1881 or click here to book.
Tickets for the Israel friendly at Barnsley are also priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children, and are available by calling 0871 22 66 777 or
click here to book