Alan Shearer impressed by Andy Carroll debut

Former England captain Alan Shearer has praised Andy Carroll's England performance in the disappointing 2-1 defeat by France at Wembley last night and called for patience with the national team's youngsters.

A side featuring debutants Carroll and Jordan Henderson as well as fellow youngster Kieran Gibbs was outclassed by their fellow World Cup flops in London.

However, the trio were certainly not the most disappointing performers in Fabio Capello's team and Shearer wants him to persist with the fringe players.

Speaking about Newcastle's new number nine, Shearer told BBC Radio Five Live: "I thought he battled well, his touch was good and I thought he won his fair share in the air and he was probably the only positive of the night.

"But I hope people don't get on the young guys' backs because none of them really shone last night. I hope they are given another chance. I hope (Capello) sticks with the young guys because I think it does need freshening up."

As for Carroll's personal life, Shearer added: "We must not forget he's 21 and obviously never been in this position before.

"I think what's important now is he learns from his mistakes, realises that now he is a senior, full international which doesn't compare to the under-21s. He will have to realise now the spotlight will be on him for the next 10 or 15 years because of that."

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