• International football

Pearce wants Wilshere and Ox for U-21s

ESPN staff
February 7, 2013
Stuart Pearce 'would not say no' to Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain playing in the under-21s © Getty Images

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce would like "a bit more support" from Roy Hodgson regarding the availability of the likes of Jack Wilshere.

England boss Hodgson recently indicated that Wilshere will not compete at this summer's Under-21 European Championship in Israel, as he will take part in the senior side's trip to Brazil on June 2.

Pearce, however, is keen to have the best squad possible at his disposal, including Arsenal midfielder Wilshere, who was named Man of the Match as England beat Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday night.

"I've always said the same thing," Pearce said in the Guardian. "Unless you take your strongest squad you can't be competitive. We've had support [from Hodgson] in some ways but, doing my job, I'd probably prefer a bit more support in regard to the players.

"It's not just for my personal point of view, but I honestly feel that giving these players tournament experience will benefit the seniors in the long run. We also have resistance from clubs on the odd occasion. But I've got my own mentality when it comes to what's going to help our senior team win a World Cup or European Championships.

"I just have to look at the Spanish and the French. They all do the same, they build from the bottom, build up and then, eventually, they win the World Cups and European Championships.

"It's experience of a tournament, that's how I see it. We have to get these players from the age of 16 or 17 and give them as much tournament experience as we humanly can. So when they step on that senior stage they have had two, three or four tournaments. That's what you have to do so they can eventually go into the seniors with that mentality."

Pearce added in The Sun: "We will both look at it at the end of April to see who is fit and who needs tournament experience - and collate the squad from there.

"Will I ask him if I can select my strongest squad? Of course. Does that include Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? That's down to Roy really. If he says to me they are available then I wouldn't say no."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.