Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Norway

Wednesday, 03 September 2014, 20:00

International Match

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

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Indian Super League: Ex-Juventus star David Trezeguet eyes Alessandro Del Piero reunion

David Trezeguet welcomes the impending arrival of ex Juventus team-mate Alessandro Del Piero in the Indian Super League

Transfer news: Ajax say Manchester United have not made approach for Daley Blind

Ajax have had "no contact at all" from Man United over Daley Blind, who will only leave for the "absolute top price".

Transfer news: Nikola Zigic's agent confirms Arsenal's interest

The agent of ex-Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic has told SPORT that Arsenal have expressed an interest in his client.

Mail Box

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

Well, This Isn't Going That Well Is It?

Plenty of fall out from Manchester United's shambolic 4-0 League Cup defeat, plus thoughts on Van Persie, Arsenal strikers, Benik Afobe, Celtic and Astroturf...

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