Stuart Pearce has vowed to learn the lessons of their humbling defeat to Germany in Malmo as he starts a new two-year stint as the England Under 21 coach.
Pearce plotting the recovery path
MALMO // Stuart Pearce has vowed to learn the lessons of their humbling defeat to Germany in Malmo as he starts a new two-year stint as the England Under 21 coach. Pearce's youngsters were convincingly beaten on Monday night to end their European Championship hopes at the final hurdle, with the 47-year-old revealing afterwards that he had signed his new contract.
Part of the learning curve will be keeping calmer on the touchline - Pearce used colourful language to the fourth official and looked ready to grab Sebastian Boenisch before restraining himself. "We're a bit frustrated as a team but we have to improve and in two years time we have to be one better," Pearce said. "We are in the top two in Europe and we have to be in the top one. "I don't subscribe to boom and bust. If we won I wasn't going to be the best coach in the world. Losing chews me up but it spurs me on to be a better coach and manager. It's as simple as that.
"Just before the semi-final I signed a two-year deal. I enjoy where I work, my employees and the players I work with. Why would you walk away from that?" Pearce will continue to assist senior boss Fabio Capello, who was travelling back from the Confederations Cup in South Africa and could not make it to Sweden. He missed England's youngsters fall behind midway through the first half when Gonzalo Castro struck. Scott Loach's blunder from Mesut Ozil's 35-yard free-kick accounted for the second.
Sandro Wagner then added two late goals to put the gloss on Germany's performance. "We started very brightly as a team, the first goal came against the run of play and changed the game," Pearce said. "It suited them to counter-attack. "I have to congratulate Germany, to win any final is an achievement and to win 4-0 in it is an achievement." Pearce was not helped by Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell being suspended, meaning Theo Walcott was isolated as a lone striker.
"It wasn't helpful but from the offset we said it would be a 23-man squad," Pearce said. "We lost three players by the final but that is not an excuse. We must learn lessons. "From this squad 50 per cent will go on for the next campaign. For those who have finished, they have served the U21s fantastically well. "I have to speak to them as a group and tell them how well they have conducted themselves over a two-year period."