Pearce up for Germany challenge
Published : 16 Nov 2010 08:00:34
England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce believes Tuesday night's friendly against Germany is a great opportunity for both sides to run the rule over new players in the run up to next year's Euro 2011 tournament.
The match in Wiesbaden is a rematch of last year's European Championship final in Sweden, when a Germany side featuring the likes of future World Cup stars Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil tore England apart in a 4-0 humiliation.
"I think England versus Germany is a great game," said Pearce. "We're up against an 'A' nation and it's an exciting fixture, England versus Germany."
He added: "It's a good test for our players. They're playing their next clutch of players and we're half and half.
"They'll be looking to build for the next campaign, whilst I've got half an eye on the next campaign beyond next summer and also the first building blocks for next summer at the finals and who is going to push the squad of players that I've already used."
Pearce will be without the likes of Andy Carroll, Kieran Gibbs, Micah Richards and Chris Smalling due to their inclusion in Fabio Capello's senior squad, while Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Frank Fielding have withdrawn due to injury.
Ipswich's Connor Wickham and Tottenham defender Steven Caulker are in the party after stepping up from the Under-19s, while Chelsea's Josh McEachran, Swansea's Scott Sinclair and Manchester City's Ben Mee are also set to feature after earning first call-ups.
"One or two of the squad players will get a chance this time and that was always my plan," Pearce said.
"I'm delighted so many of the Under-21s have gone up to the seniors, and I think it's the right and proper thing to do at this stage.
"We've lost one or two through injury but we've got an opportunity to look at one or two others now. Connor Wickham has come to join us, Ben Mee has come into the squad, Scott Sinclair too - it's a great opportunity for them and, for me, it's the first stage of building for next summer."