Pearce keen to keep momentum

Stuart Pearce has challenged his England Under-21 players to maintain a strong attitude and desire.

Last Updated: 18/03/13 at 14:59 Post Comment

Stuart Pearce: Prepares for home friendly matches

Stuart Pearce: Prepares for home friendly matches

Stuart Pearce has challenged his England Under-21 players to maintain the same attitude and desire that enabled them to rewrite the record books when they bid for European Championship glory this summer.

The Under-21s have won their last seven matches and not conceded a goal for 16 months ahead of forthcoming home friendly matches with Romania and Austria.

It will be Pearce's last chance to look at his players in action before he has to name his squad for the finals in Israel in June.

Pearce said: "We have not lost a game or conceded a goal since November 2011 and created a new record at Under-21s level.

"To win seven games on the bounce is no mean feat at whatever level you play.

"When you consider the fact that we have kept clean sheets in each one of those games and also qualified for Euro 2013, the achievement is all the more impressive.

"But winning those games does not mean we have the right to win the next, or indeed the tournament this summer.

"It is important that we continue to show the same attitude and desire that has got us to this point.

"We want to stretch that run to nine games before we fly to the finals and then continue winning in Israel."

Pearce added: "From day one our aim has been to win this competition and the tests that lie ahead will only get harder, so will require us to keep getting better.

"I've taken the Under-21s to three tournaments so far and I know the standard that will be required if we are to reach our goal.

"So, while what we have done in games and on the training ground in the last 18 months has been great, there is still work to do."

England face Romania at Wycombe's Adams Park ground on Thursday and do battle with Austria at Brighton's Community Stadium next Monday.

Pearce said: "These games against Romania and Austria are our last before I have to name my 23-man squad for the finals.

"It is an important opportunity for the players to impress as they look to secure a seat on the plane."


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