Next Game

England U21 v Portugal U21

Thursday, 18 June 2015, 19:45

European U-21 Champ Group B

Riverside Stadium

Last Game

England U21 3 - 2 Germany U21

Monday, 30 March 2015, 19:45

U-21 International

Bernstein: Seniors priority

Football Association chairman David Bernstein says the senior England squad has to be the priority, despite impacting on the U21 set-up.

Last Updated: 10/06/13 at 07:01 Post Comment

Stuart Pearce saw his Young Lions tumble out of this summer's European Championship on Saturday after suffering back-to-back defeats against Italy and Norway.

He has had his hands tied by limitations on his squad selection, with the opportunity to call on experienced performers who are now part of national coach Roy Hodgson's plans denied him.

Bernstein understands Pearce's frustration, but insists the FA do all they can to make the playing field as level as possible.

He told Sky Sports News HD: "We believe we do everything we can and we put every effort in to helping all of our managers with their squads, trying to get the best possible squads out for various competitions.

"We have a lot of competitions at the moment with the U21s and the U20s. And of course at the same time, which probably complicated matters, we had two important England friendlies - in particular the Brazil match.

"Although it was only a friendly game, it was a very important preparatory match for the World Cup. Roy Hodgson took it extremely seriously, we all did, and I know he came away having learned a lot about Rio de Janeiro, the climate, the Marcana Stadium, and the whole Brazil thing, which is very special.

"Remember England hadn't played there for 30 years and I think some of the younger players who could have been here that he had there - and (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain is a very good example. He only played 30 minutes of football but he came on and helped to change a match that was maybe going the wrong way and put us in a situation where we nearly won for the first time in many years in Brazil.

"I can understand with the World Cup being our main priority - nothing is more important, it can't be in football terms, than the World Cup - that Roy wanted the best squad he could get."

On England's U21 struggles in Israel, which have seen them bow out at the group stage after qualifying so convincingly, Bernstein added: "I was really expecting us to qualify from the group and to get to the semi-finals and maybe the final.

"So to be in the situation where the last match is meaningless is really very disappointing."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Marouane Fellaini: I never lost my quality during first Man Utd season

Marouane Fellaini has taken a swipe at his critics, saying his fruitful time at Everton was "quickly forgotten".

Everton 3-0 Manchester United: Louis van Gaal's side suffer second straight Premier League defeat

Everton beat Manchester United 3-0 at Goodison Park to inflict a second straight Premier League loss on Louis van Gaal's side.

Kane makes cut but Hazard, Costa, Terry among six Chelsea players in PFA Premier League Team of the Year

Six Chelsea players have been named in the Professional Footballers' Association's Premier League Team of the Year.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

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