Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v England

Sunday, 07 June 2015, 13:00

International Match

Last Game

Italy 1 - 1 England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Pearce wary of tricky group

England boss Stuart Pearce is not expecting an easy ride at next summer's UEFA U21 Championship finals.

Last Updated: 29/11/12 at 10:10 Post Comment

Stuart Pearce: Under-21 boss has high hopes for England in Israel next year

Stuart Pearce: Under-21 boss has high hopes for England in Israel next year

The Young Lions were arguably handed the best possible draw on Wednesday in Group A after being paired with hosts Israel, Norway and Italy, avoiding defending champions Spain, Germany, Russia and Holland.

There be some relief in the England camp to have swerved a Spain team that helped knock them out of the 2011 tournament and the Germany side who crushed England in the 2009 final.

England also lost out to the Dutch two years earlier in a heart-breaking semi-final penalty shoot-out.

But head coach Pearce remains wary and said: "We are in with the hosts and they'll be backed by some great home support.

"Norway, we know all about and there was very little between us in qualifying.

"Italy are technically very difficult to break down and we have experience of them in the past. On paper, it might look easy, but it never works that way."

England beat Norway to top spot in qualifying Group 8, while Italy finished top of Group 7 before beating Sweden in the play-offs.

Israel are the expected opponents for England's opener, before they face Italy and the Norwegians.

"We are coming to Israel to win it," Pearce added. "During my time, we have lost a semi-final on penalties, lost a final and gone out in the group stages.

"We have experienced most everything in this competition, except winning it. That was our target at the start of the qualification campaign and we are aware of what's in front of us, but we want to win it.

"For a lot of the young players lucky enough to experience these finals, it will prove to be an invaluable time in Israel, not least with a World Cup on the horizon in Brazil.

"We have had a good period here in Israel and have a good idea of hotels and training bases now. This will be confirmed as soon as UEFA decide on the match schedule."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Officials arrested in Switzerland ahead of FIFA meeting

Six football officials, reportedly from FIFA, have been arrested on corruption charges, Swiss authorities confirm.

Eden Hazard is open to another 10 years at Chelsea

Eden Hazard wants to stay at Chelsea for years and join football's elite by leading the club to Champions League glory.

Rafael Benitez '99 per cent' certain to be next Real Madrid boss

Rafael Benitez is '99 per cent' certain to be Real Madrid boss, says Carlo Ancelotti's representative Ernesto Bronzetti.

Mail Box

Who Is The Most Complete Striker Ever..?

...the answer is the original Ronaldo, Gerd Muller, Cristiano or Alan Shearer, depending on who you talk to. We also have one signing per Premier League (and promoted team)...

Reviewing Every PL Side's Season...

Time to half-heartedly agree or furiously reject some ratings. The mails also discuss the most complete striker ever in football, as well as Rodgers, Falcao and Bill O'Herilhy.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company