Pearce expects GB stars to step up

06 August 2012 12:16

Great Britain men's team boss Stuart Pearce expects to see Tom Cleverley and Daniel Sturridge develop into regular members of Roy Hodgson's England squad.

Hodgson is due to announce which players will face Euro 2012 runners-up Italy in Bern on August 15 this Friday. Sturridge and Cleverley have both been selected for England squads before and having expanded their international experience by taking on central roles in Great Britain's Olympic campaign, Pearce believes the pair are ready to make the step up on a more permanent basis.

"I certainly think they'll be around the squad," said Pearce. "With the way Tom Cleverley can handle the ball and Daniel Sturridge's eye for goal, they are two individuals who can be in and around the senior England team."

He added: "They have both benefited from this tournament and they will go back to Manchester United and Chelsea with something to prove."

In the immediate aftermath of his own side's last-eight penalty shoot-out defeat to the Azzuri in Kiev, Hodgson said he intended to use the match to experiment ahead of a World Cup qualifying campaign that begins in Moldova next month.

There are plenty of options from his fringe men in Poland and Ukraine, with Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson amongst those who might hope for a more meaningful role.

Source: PA