Stuart Pearce ready to lead England at Euro 2012
Thursday 23 February 2012
Caretaker England coach Stuart Pearce is ready to lead the side to Euro 2012 - "with pleasure".
The England Under-21 boss has been handed the senior role temporarily following the resignation of Fabio Capello earlier this month.
And Pearce, who also worked under Capello with the senior side as part of the Italian's backroom staff, insists the Football Association have been left in no doubt about his interest in doing the job in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
"I'm available, and I have tournament experience, if they need me to step into the breach in the summer," he said ahead of next week's friendly with Holland.
"That is obviously a decision for the employees here. They know exactly where I am.
"I've not fluffed around it, I've not turned around and said, 'I'm not sure what I want to do.' They know exactly what I want to do. If they need me to take the squad in the summer I'll do that with pleasure.
"If they need me to coach a manager that's coming through the door, I'll do that with pleasure as well. Beyond that, at this moment in time, I consider myself, after the summer, as the Team GB manager and Under-21 manager."
Pearce today called on a number of familiar faces from his Under-21 set-up for next week's match, with newcomer Fraizer Campbell the most noteworthy.
The 24-year-old came back into the Black Cats side this season after nearly 18 months out of the side and has made an immediate impact with two goals under new boss Martin O'Neill.
Pearce said: "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.
"He's come back into the Sunderland side and given them a real lift. I spoke to Martin about him at a game a few days ago and he spoke very highly of him.
"He's worked fantastically well to get back from the injury he's had. He's an exciting talent. I think he'll thrive by coming into this environment."
Also in Pearce's squad are Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley and Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
Pearce has been impressed with the way Cleverley, who has also recently returned from injury, has adapted to a central role.
"He started the season fantastically well," said Pearce.
"It's been a bit stop-start with injuries. He's come back into he United side, they've played him in a more central role, which is something I didn't do at under-21 level, and he's flourished.
"They (United) talk highly of him. He's got a big future. Just being around the senior set-up will stand him in good stead."
Pearce was asked about the topical issue of racism, after a story about him abusing Paul Ince in the 1990s was brought up again when he was handed the caretaker job recently.
He said: "In some ways I found it a little bid sad, to be quite honest with you, to re-hash a story from 17 years ago which was reported at the time and apologised [for] at the time by myself.
"I think it's something that, from my point of view, wasn't appropriate at the time. To bring that up, and the timing of it, I found quite sad, and I felt sorry for Paul because I know him and his family would have been chased for comments as well at the time.
"That's as it is, really. Obviously I do everything I possibly can in regards to anti-racism campaigns when asked."
Then asked about John Terry, who lost the captain's armband while allegations of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, which he denies, are ongoing, Pearce said: "It's something not worth me commenting on at this stage, to be honest. That's something that's gone before and obviously that's something that's going to be dealt with in the summer."
England caretaker coach Stuart Pearce named the following 25-man squad on for Wednesday's friendly international against Netherlands at Wembley:
Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (Bursaspor), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Robert Green (West Ham United)
Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Forwards: Darren Bent (Aston Villa), Fraizer Campbell (Sunderland), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
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