England Under-21s captain Jordan Henderson wants Stuart Pearce to stay on as manager despite an early European Championship exit the Liverpool midfielder cannot quite believe.
After nine successive wins without conceding, the Young Lions arrived in Israel among the favourites for the title. Instead, they became the first side to exit the competition after woeful defeats to Italy and Norway put the semi-finals beyond them with a game to spare.
Whether the Football Association extends Pearce's contract past the end of the month remains to be seen and, despite overseeing group exits in successive tournaments, Henderson hopes he stays on. "Of course [I want Pearce to stay]," the Young Lions skipper said. "He has been a brilliant manager since I've come into the 21s."
The former Sunderland player added: "Obviously you can see his record - we got to the final a few tournaments ago and lost to a good team in Germany. He has been brilliant with all of us so I would love to see him stay on."
Despite such backing, Pearce is odds on with the bookmakers to leave the Under-21s post.
It is no real surprise given England failed so miserably in a group many had expected them to qualify from.
"I can't believe it," Henderson said. "There was high hopes going into the tournament.
"It is very disappointing and all the lads were devastated in the dressing room, but I think we battled and kept on going to the end.
"I am not sure [why things have gone wrong]. I think the Italy game was really bad. We didn't play well at all and got beat, which was really disappointing.
"I thought we played better against Norway, to be honest. I think we dominated the game, dominated possession of the ball but we have conceded very bad goals as well so we can't believe it, really."