Wigley backs England youngsters

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England Under-21 assistant boss Steve Wigley believes the current crop of youngsters have the potential to make the step up to the senior squad.

Stuart Pearce's team have another chance to prove their international credentials against Norway on Sunday before the team jet off to Denmark for the European Championships on Wednesday.

"There will always be in any England Under-21 team four or five players who go on to the seniors and this group is the same," Wigley said. "I wouldn't like to pick people out but I'm convinced there are future England internationals here."

He added: "Some of them have already been around the squad and some could make it next year.

"Joe Hart and James Milner have gone on record saying the experience of these tournaments for them has been fantastic.

"I only see it as a benefit for England."

England face Spain, Ukraine and the Czech Republic in a tough-looking European Championship group, which will be watched by a strong Football Association delegation in Denmark.

Senior boss Fabio Capello will be one of those in attendance and Wigley hopes the team can build on their recent performances, which saw them reach the semi-finals in 2007 and then the final two years later.

He added: "We've had two good tournaments and obviously we'd like to go one step further. We've got a bit of experience in the squad because we've got lads who have been there before.

"Getting out of the group stages is so tough when you look at the teams we've got. Everything from game management, retaining the ball, keeping 11 players on the pitch, is absolutely vital."

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Joe Hart
James Milner
Stuart Pearce

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