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Pearce looks to future

10 Jun 2013 21:47:46

Pearce looks to future

Stuart Pearce's future might be up in the air but the England Under-21s manager will name a starting line-up with the next few years in mind against European Championship hosts Israel on Tuesday.

Having suffered disappointing defeats to Italy and Norway, the Young Lions head to Jerusalem for their final Group A game knowing the knockout stages are already beyond them. England will look to restore some pride at the Teddy Stadium as they look to avoid becoming just the second ever team to leave an Under-21 tournament without a point.

Pearce has pledged to use the game to give some of the squad's younger players competition experience with the 2015 edition in mind, despite the fact he may no longer be in the post by the start of July. He said: "We know our destiny now and we know this is our last game in the tournament and it is important we try to go out with a victory if we possibly can."

The former international full back, whose contract expires at the end of the month and is odds-on with the bookmakers to be replaced as Under-21s manager, added: "We certainly don't want to finish bottom of the group and the players have been very disappointed regarding the results in the first two games.

"They have kept very, very focused, training has been very good and their application has been fantastic. They are desperate to put on a performance.

"I never like to give my team away but one thing I can tell you is that I will select a team with a view to the next campaign. That will be the fairest thing for me to say.

"I have got to make sure I have 10 or 11 players in this group that can run in the next campaign and that tells you we have a very young squad here in the first place.

"I think experience for those players will be vital in this tournament.

"Even though we have not been successful they will take that experience with them to the next campaign. You will see a few of those younger players playing."

Josh McEachran and Andre Wisdom are two such players expected to be given their first start of the tournament, while Under-21 mainstays Jason Steele and Tom Lees are also set to get a game. Those players will be charged with restoring English pride after what has been a tournament to forget.


PA

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