Pearce hits back despite Spanish dominance

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Stuart Pearce rubbed salt into "arrogant" Spain's wounds by claiming England would have thrashed them on Sunday had they had enjoyed as much possession in their European Under-21 Championship opener.

Pearce's Young Lions were chasing shadows almost from start to finish in the Group B clash in Herning but their opponents failed to turn their dominance into goals as Danny Welbeck salvaged a 1-1 draw.

"If we had kept the ball away from the Spanish team for that period of time over 90 minutes, we'd have maybe won the game 4-0," Pearce said. "We stuck at it, we kept going, and sometimes you get rewards. I don't think our goal was threatened a great deal over the 90 minutes."

He added: "The goalkeeper's hardly had too much to deal with.

"I was sat on the touchline and even though we didn't have possession of the ball, I didn't feel as though the opposition were going to score a goal. It's not often you can say that."


Nevertheless, Pearce admitted England could not risk a repeat performance in their next two games against Ukraine on Wednesday and group leaders Czech Republic next Sunday.

"I think we have to learn a real lesson from this going forward," he said.

"There's more ability in our squad than we probably showed.

"In our possession of the ball, we have to show a touch more maybe of the Spanish arrogance that we saw. The heart of the team is fantastic.

"We'll be a better side and play better as the games go on. And we'll be better on Wednesday than we were this evening."

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