Pearce sees room for improvement

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Football News

Stuart Pearce insists England still have plenty of room for improvement despite watching them romp to a crushing 4-0 win over UEFA Under-21 Championship hosts Denmark.

Pearce's youngsters rediscovered their ruthless streak ahead of this summer's finals having failed to win - or score in - their previous three matches. However, although they clinically took advantage of defensive mistakes made by the Danes, England produced a string of their own which went unpunished in Viborg.

Head coach Pearce said: "I was pleased with the result and the clean sheet, but I was disappointed with the first-half performance as we didn't play particularly well and we were too open in midfield and allowed the opposition too many chances. In the second half, I thought we improved."

He added: "In international football, to win a game is hard work, make no mistake. To win 4-0 away from home, I am very pleased with. For me, it's a stepping stone towards the summer and hopefully one or two players showed me they're improving and getting better.

England do not have long to learn from the mistakes made, with Pearce's side facing Iceland in Preston on Monday night in their penultimate friendly before they return to Denmark for June's first finals match against Spain.

"I've only got two games left now before we step out against Spain," said Pearce. "We have to keep improving, we have to be full at it every game. I don't think we were here, but it was good enough to win the game."

England's strikers looked particularly sharp, with Danny Welbeck, Scott Sinclair and Daniel Sturridge all finding the net before Jordan Henderson slotted in the visitors' fourth goal. Bolton's on-loan Chelsea forward Sturridge stole the show, as Pearce acknowledged.

He said: "There was some decent performances in there, Danny Welbeck coming back from injury and Sturridge was outstanding, as was the goalkeeper (Alex McCarthy) in his first start."

The major blow to England, and possibly Manchester City, was the loss of captain Micah Richards to a hamstring injury after less than three minutes.

"The only downside was the fact we lost Micah early on," Pearce said. "He's got a hamstring problem and he's diagnosed himself as being out for four weeks - that's Dr Richards for you. That could be four days though, as that's him diagnosing himself!"

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Manchester City
Alex McCarthy
Bolton Wanderers
Jordan Henderson
Preston North End
Danny Welbeck
Daniel Sturridge
Stuart Pearce
Micah Richards
Scott Sinclair

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