Football

Pearce eyes success for England

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England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce wants to bring footballing success to the country next summer after coming so close as a player.

Pearce feels his youngsters have a real chance of winning the European Championships - but to earn a place at the tournament in Sweden they have to beat Wales in a play-off, with the first leg at Ninian Park on Friday.

After twice reaching the semi-finals during his playing career, Pearce knows the effect the prospect of success can have on England and said: "I think it would be a fantastic lift."

He added: "I was fortunate enough to be involved in 1990, when quarter of a million people turned up at Luton Airport to see a team that had been beaten in a semi-final.

"I was also fortunate to be involved in 1996 when the country went crazy after we got a little bit of momentum going in a tournament in our own back yard.

"I think winning is infectious, whatever trophy. At all age groups we are pretty successful but we have to win a trophy. That's what it boils down to.

"I only ever lost six games in 78 games for the senior team but I haven't got a trophy behind me or a winners medal to say 'this is what I got playing for England'."

Pearce hopes his under-21 dream does not end against Wales but he expects his job to be reviewed if his youngsters fail to make it through their play-off, with the second leg on Tuesday at Villa Park.

"When I joined 18 months ago on a full-time contract it was a two-year contract," said the under-21 coach.

"That will be reviewed, I hope, next summer at the end of the tournament. That will change on Tuesday if we don't get through the play-off situation. That is something I would have to speak to my bosses about. I would still be under contract until the summer but it will be a decision for me and my bosses."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Stuart Pearce

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