Football

Pearce focused on the present

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Stuart Pearce has no interest in the history of games between England and Germany as his Under-21 side prepare for tomorrow's European Championship final.

The teams will continue an intense rivalry when they meet in Malmo tomorrow to determine the top under-21 side in Europe following their respective semi-final victories over hosts Sweden and Italy.

"My only concern is the match tomorrow night. That it the only history we will create," he said. "Any matches gone by are consigned to history now, they have no relevance."

As a player Pearce missed a penalty for England against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final and although the former Nottingham Forest defender was successful against the Germans in Euro 96, the outcome was the same as their opponents triumphed on spot-kicks.

Opposite number Horst Hrubesch, though, admits he hopes the rivalry continues on Monday.

"I hope so," he said. "That it is the same situation it has always been because there have been so many good matches between England and Germany."

England's team selection has been hit by the enforced absences through suspension of goalkeeper Joe Hart and forwards Fraizer Campbell and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Pearce, though, is happy with the team's build-up although he refused to be drawn over his line-up.

He continued at a press conference broadcast televised on Sky Sports News on Sunday: "In regard to preparation it has been fantastic. We have 23 fit players, one or two on suspensions who won't feature.

"But for a coach coming into a final to have anyone fully fit and in my eyes in good form, we can't ask for any more. "We never select the side before the morning of the game. In my mind I know who is playing and the players will know it tomorrow."

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Topics:
Joe Hart
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
Championship
Nottingham Forest
Stuart Pearce
Fraizer Campbell
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