Pearce: Defeat a learning curve
Stuart Pearce admitted England pushed the self-destruct button in Monday night's last-gasp 2-1 European Under-21 Championship qualifying defeat in Belgium.
Pearce watched his Young Lions throw away not only a victory that would have put them within touching distance of a play-off place for the 2013 finals, but also a draw that would have maintained their stranglehold on Group Eight.
A defeat put the group firmly back in the balance, and Pearce told ESPN: "We got our noses in front with a decent goal and should have gone on from there and made it two or three-nil. We didn't, we were waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen ourselves and that's international football. We'll take it on the chin and move on."
The manner of the defeat was eerily similar to this summer's defeat to Czech Republic that saw England crash out of the finals in Denmark.
Pearce added: "We didn't have a cutting edge or real devilment about our play to win the game.
"I think it's a learning curve for our young players.
"Once you get into international football away from home, you take your point and you move on.
"We gifted them the winning goal, which is disappointing from our point of view, but we have to make sure we learn from this game and take it forward.
"We play Belgium again in February and have to reverse the result against them."
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