St Jakob Park

Next Game

Switzerland v England

Monday, 08 September 2014, 19:45

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E

Last Game

Costa Rica 0 - 0 England

Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 17:00

World Cup Group D

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

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

Footer 365

Champions League: John Collins claims Celtic will have to be at best to get past Legia Warsaw

John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a huge threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Premier League: Daniel Sturridge confident Liverpool can shine without Luis Suarez

Daniel Sturridge believes Liverpool have the squad to handle Luis Suarez's exit and will challenge for top honours.

Transfer news: Simon Mignolet backs Liverpool target Divock Origi and welcomes Pepe Reina return

Liverpool are closing in on Divock Origi and the Belgium youngster has been tipped to shine in the Premier League.

Mail Box

Don't You Worry About Southampton...

We can't help but agree with one mailboxer who tries to calm the crisis-mongers gathering around Southampton, while we have mails on Man United's squad...

No Wonder Wenger Doesn't Buy British

That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property