Pearce determined to fight for his job

Stuart Pearce is hoping to lead England Under-21s to European glory ahead of talks on his future slated for the end of the month.

Football News: Stuart Pearce

Since his appointment in 2007, the former full-back has taken the Young Lions to an unprecedented four successive European Championships - the latest of which kicks off against Italy tomorrow.

Success in Israel would be a welcome boost ahead of contract talks with the Football Association over his contract, which expires this month.

FA chairman David Bernstein refused to provide any assurances about his future earlier this week, but Pearce has made his desire to remain manager of the Under-21s clear.

"I enjoy the role," he said. "It's fantastic. Nothing's changed for me or for the FA, I think.

"If we can get it out the way, that's my mentality.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Trevor Brooking in regard to my future.

"I am absolutely delighted with the job I do, I really enjoy working with young players and have a real passion for it myself, and look forward to sitting down with the FA in two weeks' time.

"There's no point asking the question 'What's your future?' - which we've done many times before. That's where I'm at."

Bernstein plans to review Pearce's position after the tournament in consultation with Greg Dyke, who will succeed him as FA chairman at the start of July.

"I've had a fantastic relationship with David Bernstein - obviously had links with him from Manchester City - and I would fully expect Mr Dyke to come in and be a full part of [the decision-making process]," Pearce added.

"But that's for the FA. If Trevor decides he's dealing with it personally, fine; I'm sure there'll be discussions with regard to the rest and they'll take it accordingly.

"I'm contracted until the end of June so I guess it would be towards the end of June."

Pearce's chances of a new deal will be boosted by a decent display in Israel, where Wilfried Zaha is expected to be one of England's shining lights.

The 20-year-old, though, has been struggling with an ankle injury and looked a shadow of himself during training sessions since arriving in Israel.

However, Pearce insists there is no problem with Zaha's attitude and fitness, with him expected to be available for the Group A opener against Israel.

"He's had the game last week and then intentionally not trained since right through to now," Pearce said.

"We just want to make sure he's totally right. We're quite happy with Wilf.

"He's played a lot of games this year. We think the mental freshness of not training for a week will serve him well.

"We'll sit tonight and decide on a team with a view to winning the game.

Asked if he had to drag him here, Pearce added: "No chance - I just picked him.

"He's been fantastic. Every time we've told him of the plans - we've got a flight for you - he's been good as gold."



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