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Hodgson refutes Pearce claims

England coach Roy Hodgson has dismissed Stuart Pearce's claims that the Under-21 campaign this summer was undermined by the seniors taking their best players.

Last Updated: 19/08/13 at 13:17 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Adamant senior England side should have player priority

Roy Hodgson: Adamant senior England side should have player priority

The Young Lions were eliminated in the group stages of the European U21 Championships in Israel, having lost all three games, and only scored one goal all tournament, ultimately costing Pearce his job.

The former England full-back believes his preparations were hindered by certain players being called up for the senior team's friendly in Brazil, thus making them unavailable for the Under-21s.

Pearce raised this issue again, believing the FA should insist players remain in their appropriate age-group levels, rather than being promoted prematurely to older teams or the senior team.

But Hodgson feels the senior side should get priority, no matter how old the players are.

"There were players missing for the Under-21s in the summer but through injury," he told The Daily Mail.

"The only player who actually could have gone was (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain and he came with us, because (Phil) Jones hadn't been fit and wasn't considered.

"Under-21 tournaments are for the development of players. It's the senior team above all that counts."

According to Hodgson, any changes to the system would be a backwards step, but revealed the situation is under review.

"We're looking for a very clear line going down through the Under-21, the 19s, the 17s, about how we want to play: playing out from the back, passing football and positive play," he added.

"If the FA wants to set a policy to do that, that's fine. But don't forget it would go against everything we've ever done in the past."

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