England U21 boss blasts underperforming players


England U21 manager Stuart Pearce has refused to defend his players following a 1-0 defeat against Israel in the European U21 Championships. 

The defeat against the host nation meant that Pearce's side failed to pick up a single point in the tournament. Pearce's men were one of the favourites to go far in the tournament but they have sensationally crashed out in the first round. 

And boss Stuart Pearce has refused to defend his players after three successive defeats: 1-0 to Italy, 3-1 to Norway and 1-0 to Israel. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "We've been beaten three times; the players have to take that on the chin.

"I'm not coming out here and defending anyone. I'm sick to the back teeth of doing that in this tournament. The players have to deal with that, the players have to stand out here in front of you and the cameras and explain their performances."

Pearce also highlighted his frustration at the lack of commitment shown by his players, especially after their promising form before coming to the tournament in Israel.

"It's difficult to support them over the three matches we have played here. The standard we have set ourselves over a two-year period was a million miles from what we have seen at this tournament for many reasons," continued an angry Pearce.

Pearce also felt that, apart from captain Andre Wisdom, his players failed to do the basics correctly, which ultimately led to their demise.

"The bottom line is you expect your players to do the basics, hold the ball up, work back into position," he added. "If you've asked them to defend on the halfway line in respect to the opposition corner then you don't expect to stand in your technical area and tell them eight or nine times every time there's a corner; it's basic football knowledge.

"Probably I wouldn't include Andre Wisdom in that. I thought he captained the side very well and hopefully will captain the side in the future."


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