Pearce not concerned about withdrawals

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Football News

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce is confident he will not suffer withdrawals for the European Championships like he did two years ago.

Pearce's youngsters, who warmed up for the tournament with a 7-0 win over Azerbaijan on Monday night at stadium:mk, already travel to Sweden without injured players such as skipper Steven Taylor, Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon and Danny Welbeck.

But he said: "The spirit is too good in the camp. They all want to be there and go. I'm fortunate enough that I've had these boys for the last eight days, they've shared each others company and have been fantastic on the training pitch and have taken that camaraderie onto the pitch."

For the 2007 campaign David Bentley was too tired to play and Gabriel Agbonlahor could not be contacted to confirm his call-up for the finals - but Pearce insists he now has a squad desperate to play.

Pearce added: "If anyone missed it through injury they would be crestfallen, like my captain (Taylor) was a few days ago when they met a few days ago and we had to send him back to Newcastle.

"We had to send Danny Welbeck back to Manchester United. They were crestfallen but it gives other players a chance to come in and show us what they can do."

Peterborough goalkeeper Joe Lewis played the last 15 minutes in attack as Lee Cattermole picked up a calf problem and there were no other outfield substitutes.

"Whichever way we did it we didn't want to seem disrespectful to the opposition," Pearce added. "Obviously we hope the opposition don't realise we have put a goalkeeper up front during the game.

"He thought it was a doddle up there. He thought he ran around more than Fraizer Campbell but we'll have to feed the video back him and we'll see."

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Peterborough United
Tom Huddlestone
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Steven Taylor
Aaron Lennon
Lee Cattermole
Premier League
Danny Welbeck
Manchester United
Stuart Pearce
Joe Lewis
David Bentley
Fraizer Campbell

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