Pearce hopes Stirling leads breakthrough

11 October 2012 03:47

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce had praised teenage winger Raheem Sterling and admits he would like to see more young, home-grown talent breaking into Barclays Premier League sides.

Sterling, 18, has been one of Liverpool's most impressive players during a difficult start to the season for the Anfield club. He will now be in with a chance of making his under-21 debut in the European Championship play-off against Serbia at Carrow Road on Friday.

"He has had a fantastic start to the season," said Pearce. "He has been in our development age groups prior to this season and he had the fortunate opportunity to be with the seniors last time out and he has come in now and has got the opportunity to vie for a place with the Under-21s."

He added: "He has fit in really well to be fair, he will bring the confidence he has got and that Brendan (Rodgers, Liverpool boss) has given him - he has got his tail up at the moment and looks a real handful."

The lack of young English players being given exposure has been increasingly apparent in recent years but, although Pearce revealed he would like to see more players being blooded, he believes there are some notable exceptions.

"We would prefer more young players breaking into their teams, there is no doubt about that," he said.

"But when you look at Liverpool there is (Jonjo) Shelvey, Andre Wisdom has just got in the team recently, Raheem has got into the team.

"There are one or two players that are being given the opportunity to break into their teams, Jack (Rodwell) has just moved clubs, he has a lot of experience in games at Everton but now has another challenge ahead of him to break into Man City's team and play consistently there."

Source: PA