Pearce ready to lead England at Euro 2012
England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce said he was ready to lead the country into the European Championships yesterday after naming a youthful squad for next week’s friendly with Holland.
Pearce was appointed to take charge of England for the Wembley international following the shock resignation of Fabio Capello earlier this month, but is not regarded as a long-term option for the post.
However, with the Football Association yet to make a formal approach to Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp, Pearce confirmed he would be willing to take charge of England at this summer’s finals in Poland and Ukraine.
“I’m available and I have tournament experience if they need me to step into the breach in the summer,” Pearce told reporters.
“If they need me to take the squad in the summer I will do that with pleasure.”
Pearce, who is coach of England’s U-21 and will manage Britain’s football team at the Olympics, also defended his decision to omit veterans such as Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand from next week’s match.
“My mentality was what would I need to learn as a manager going into a major tournament and what would the next manager coming through the door need to learn from next Wednesday,” Pearce said.
“I know Frank, Rio and some of the other senior players, I don’t think I would learn anything watching them play next Wednesday. But I might learn something from watching some of the younger players.”
Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell was the shock inclusion of Pearce’s 25-strong squad, which also saw a recall to the international fold of Manchester City’s in-form full-back Micah Richards, largely ignored by Capello.
“I know Fraizer quite well because the heads-up I’ve got is I’ve taken the majority of these boys to under-21 tournaments. He was fantastic on the road with us at under-21 level,” Pearce said.
Goalkeepers: Carson (Bursaspor), Hart (Man. City), Green (West Ham).
Defenders: Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Baines (Everton), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones (Man. United), Richards (Man. City), Smalling (Man. United), Walker (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Barry (Man. City), Cleverley (Man. United), Downing (Liverpool), Johnson (Man. City), Gerrard (Liverpool), Milner (Man. City), Parker (Tottenham), Young (Man. United), Walcott (Arsenal).
Forwards: Bent (Aston Villa), Campbell (Sunderland), Sturridge (Chelsea), Rooney (Man. United), Welbeck (Man. United).