Pearce pleased with Euro opener
Thursday, 01 September, 2011
Head Coach praises his side after 6-0 win over Azerbaijan.
England Under-21 Head Coach Stuart Pearce believes his side can take a number of positives from their impressive 6-0 win over Azerbaijan and hopes they will get even stronger during the qualifying campaign.
Pearce was thrilled to see his new look side come together so quickly as they got off to the best possible start in their opening game in Group 8. Henri Lansbury and Craig Dawson both scored two goals while skipper Jordan Henderson and Martyn Waghorn also got among the scorers.
England’s Young Lions will now be brimming with confidence as they prepare for a friendly against Israel on Monday and Pearce believes it will be the ideal preparation for two tough away games against Iceland and Norway.
Pearce said: “It was pleasing. There were a lot of good things and a lot of people making their debuts. There are some really good things we can take from that and it is a building block.
“It is the first result of the campaign and I am looking forward to the game on Monday so I can look at one or two. We can come away from these games and have something to think about for the real tough October and November.
“Across the board we can improve all-round. Any manager has got to take a 6-0 victory to kick-off the campaign. We have put down a marker now and we have got to improve on that.
“I thought Lansbury was very good and Henderson played well and captained the team extremely well. Dawson did well in his first game getting two goals and looked a real threat from set plays.
“I think all-round they all did themselves proud and the boys who came off the bench as well gave us something to think about. These two games are like a pre-season for us and the players individually are fighting for places.
“I am hoping that everyone in the squad has got a big future. There are expectations on all young England players, but it is important that we keep building them at club and international level.
“All of them have got good talent. They would not be in the Under-21 squad if they didn’t and it is a case of nurturing that and growing it.”