VIDEO: Pearce hails Lions
Tuesday, 11 October, 2011
Head Coach praises his side's character after win in Norway.
Click here to watch the full FATV interview with Stuart
Stuart Pearce hailed his England Under-21 side’s resolve after they held on for a 2-1 Euro qualifying victory over Norway on Monday night.
West Brom defender Craig Dawson put the Young Lions ahead after just three minutes and England captain, Jordan Henderson, doubled the lead just four minutes later.
Norway battled back gamely and forced England onto the back foot. The hosts pulled a goal back through Valon Berisha in the 23rd minute and pushed for the equaliser, but Pearce’s charges held on for three important points.
This result came just four days after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s hat-trick helped England to a 3-0 victory over Iceland, leaving them top of Group 8 on nine points from three games, three points clear of Norway.
“Credit to the players, they were fantastic,” said Pearce. “It wasn’t the prettiest of games. Credit to Norway, they kept coming at us time and time again. We stood up to the challenge, especially in the second half and ended up hanging on to a 2-1 victory. We showed some real guts. I think our players really learnt a lot about themselves and each other.
“I said to them before [the game] that we could grow as a team if we could get three points. We’ve got some fantastic individuals in that dressing room, some really gutsy boys, the sort of [players] that are blessed with a great deal of talent but a great work ethic as well and I’m very, very proud of them.
“It’s put us in a strong-ish position in the group. There’s plenty of work to do, but we need to keep building. We’ve got a lot of talent here.”