Pearce warns big-money players

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Football News

Stuart Pearce has warned Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson their price tags will mean nothing when he comes to select his England team for Sunday night's European Under-21 Championship opener against Spain.

Henderson has completed his move from Sunderland to Liverpool and Jones is expecting to seal his switch to Manchester United, despite reports of a last-minute hitch involving parent club Blackburn.

"It is of no interest to me what they've moved for in the transfer window - I treat them all the same," said Pearce, who insisted every member of his squad should brace themselves for disappointment.

"I have to pick a team of 11 - outside of that there will be disappointed people. The only way we can get over the line is collectively. We can't do it individually, or as a team of 11. We have to do it as a squad.

"The boys outside the team will support the ones in it because they know, come Wednesday, they might be in it. That is tournament football and we have to learn that."

Pearce cited Joe Hart as an example of how to respond to disappointment, with the current England senior goalkeeper having been ruled out of the final two years ago through suspension.

"Joe Hart played all the qualifiers and the tournament games then got two bookings," he said. "He had to watch two goalkeepers and then be humble enough to do interviews after the game when he's nearly in tears. The focus was the squad, not himself."

Pearce insisted even his captain was not safe from the axe, claiming he would rotate the armband if necessary for Wednesday's game with Ukraine and next Sunday's clash with the Czech Republic.

Refusing to confirm Michael Mancienne would skipper the side, despite the new Hamburg defender having performed all the captaincy duties in the build-up to the tournament, Pearce said: "We have chopped and changed captains over a two-year period. It is an irrelevance. The one who captains tomorrow might not be in the team Wednesday.

"We will play three nations, all vastly different in their styles of their play, in the group stage. We have to cope with that and impose our style."

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Joe Hart
Blackburn Rovers
Jordan Henderson
Phil Jones
Premier League
Manchester United
Stuart Pearce
Michael Mancienne

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