Pearce: I need Wilshere and Carroll for U-21 championship

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce laid his cards on the table after Monday night's 2-1 friendly defeat against Iceland by declaring he must be allowed to take his best players to the European Championship in Denmark this summer.

Pearce picked a below-strength team for the game at Preston and, although Nathan Delfouneso gave the hosts a 13th-minute lead, Iceland came back strongly and won the game with a goal from West Ham youngster Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson.

The former England left-back insisted it was his decision to release the likes of Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge following Thursday's 4-0 win over Denmark, but he will not be making similar concessions in the summer. That would mean the likes of the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, who are both now regulars in the senior side, being part of the squad.

Pearce's stance is likely to be unpopular with the players' clubs, although he has confirmed he will not consider Wilshere's Arsenal club-mate Theo Walcott, who was included in the party for the same tournament two years ago. Pearce said: "Jack's been in this squad, he helped the squad qualify for the finals, and I know how good he is. The same with Andy Carroll, who's played three or four matches at this level. We would look slightly amateurish if we decide to leave our best players at home because we generate this myth that we play more football than anybody else, and all of a sudden maybe Spain turn up in our group and they might have a World Cup winner in their ranks. That would look rather silly, I think."

Explaining his decision not to consider Walcott, Pearce added: "We feel as though he's had enough experience and deem him as a senior player, so I won't view him for the tournament this summer."

Iceland, who will be in the opposite group to England at the European Championship, benefited from two defensive mistakes and Pearce felt his players lost their concentration.

He said: "We got our noses in front with a very good goal and then we got complacent. I don't think you can afford to do that at any level, especially international level.

"But, as I told the players, two years ago we got beaten by the French 2-0 at Nottingham Forest – and it was two going on six or seven if I'm honest – and it acted as a real wake-up call for us. We'll have to use tonight as a similar wake-up call."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen