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U-21 International

Pearce demands one last effort

Stuart Pearce expects his England U21 squad to come out with all guns blazing in their final European Championship match against hosts Israel in Jerusalem on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 11/06/13 at 16:08 Post Comment

Stuart Pearce: Confident U21s will finish with a victory

Stuart Pearce: Confident U21s will finish with a victory

Defeats to Italy and Norway have left England unable to qualify for the semi-finals, but Pearce - who is expected to give some of his fringe players a run-out against the hosts - says the players have a point to prove after two disappointing performances.

"We know our destiny now, we know this is our last game of the tournament, and it's important we go out with a victory, we certainly don't want to finish bottom of the group," Pearce said.

"The players have been very disappointed after the results of the first two games, but I think they are very focused.

"The training has been good and their application to listen to all the messages we have put their way has been fantastic.

"They are desperate to put in a performance and we are preparing as we normally do.

"I get the feeling the players are primed and ready. I don't think any country wants to come home from this tournament having not won a game."

Pearce confirmed that he wants to give a chance to those players who will be available for the next qualification campaign which begins in September.

"I never look to give my team away, but one thing I can tell you is that I'll select the team in view of the next campaign," he said.

"I have to make sure we have ten or eleven players within this group who can run through to the next campaign. That also tells you we have a very young squad coming here in the first place. The experience those young boys get in this tournament, even though we've not been successful, they'll take that with them forward."

Israel lost 4-0 to Italy but in their opening game they held Norway to a 2-2 draw and with 30,000 fans expected at the Teddy Stadium Pearce is expecting a difficult match.

"We do our homework on every team we face," said Pearce. "They are a high-energy team, very compact with two banks of four and two strikers.

"They are pretty rigid in their four-four-two, but I think when they do attack they attack with energy, their full-backs push on and they are very dangerous on the counter-attack.

"They'll be a fantastic test and I believe there is going to be a full-house here, which in itself is a great advert for Israeli football and the Under-21 tournament in general."

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