Pearce playing down winning run

26 March 2013 07:17

England Under-21s might be on a run of nine successive wins but manager Stuart Pearce has played down its importance heading into this summer's European Championships.

The Young Lions overcame Austria 4-0 in Brighton to extend their record-breaking run - they have not conceded a goal in nine games either - although the match became a bit of a non-contest after the visitors received red cards either side of half-time.

"This last eight-day block we've had, I certainly could not have asked for more in terms of results," the Young Lions manager said. "I think the result flattered us a bit. It was nicely balanced, with chances at both ends and some good defending at the beginning."

Keeper Richard Strebinger and full-back Patrick Farkas walked early, giving England a distinct advantage.

Jonjo Shelvey and Josh McEachran netted from the set-pieces that immediately followed the decisions, before Marvin Sordell and Connor Wickham wrapped up victory.

Pearce added: "The sending off, certainly the second sending off, slanted the game a little bit and probably we didn't learn a great deal after that, to be honest with you.

"But the two-game exercise for has been absolutely invaluable in regards to shaping my mentality for the squad this summer.

"The boys have been outstanding, as they normally are, over these eight days at the hotel, on the training ground and on the match pitch.

"There are lessons to be learned but I think they have the mentality to get better. We've got bigger challenges in the summer.

"Our scouts have been looking at the Italians, Norwegians, Spanish - there are some good sides coming to this championships. We won't get washed away with thinking just because we won a couple of games on the spin that it is going to be nice and comfortable in the summer. It will be anything but."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44