Pearce confident ahead of crucial England U21 clash

Stuart Pearce England U21 ManagerStuart Peace is confident that his side will show how much it means to play for England when they take on Serbia.

The U21 team are due to play a two-legged playoff against Serbia with a place in the European Championships at stake, the first leg commencing at Carrow Road.

If they succeed, it will be the first time any nation has qualified 4 times consecutively for this particular tournament. And the need to show passion and determination in order to create this history is certainly not lost upon the manager.

However, a lot of the build-up has been dominated by claims from Manchester City’s football development executive, Patrick Vieira, that young English Premier League players simply do not love playing for their national team.

These assertions have been rebuked by the former City boss who believes he has created a good atmosphere and camaraderie within the camp.

“I can’t give the staff around me enough credit for creating an environment that the players enjoy coming to and representing their country,” Pearce told the Daily Mail.

The England players themselves have certainly illustrated a desire to succeed winning 15 out of their last 23 competitive matches dating back to June 2009.

There is an acute awareness that the home game will be crucial in overcoming a physical Serbian outfit, and players such as Liverpool’s young prospect Raheem Sterling will be expected to shine.

England U21s play Serbia tonight in an 18.00 BST kick off.