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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
U21s need full-time boss - Pearce
England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce
Pearce has called for England's U21 coach to be full-time
Stuart Pearce says the situations with David Bentley and Gabriel Agbonlahor prove that the England Under-21 side needs a full-time coach.

Blackburn's Bentley withdrew late from the European Under-21 championships which begin in Holland on Sunday.

Pearce omitted Agbonlahor from the squad because he was unable to contact the Aston Villa striker.

"There is no doubt, in my eyes it's definitely a full-time job," Pearce told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

Former Manchester City manager Pearce is in charge of the under-21s for the European Championships in Holland before the coach's position is reviewed.

If David himself said 'I want to go to this tournament' it wouldn't be a problem in Blackburn releasing him

England U21 coach Stuart Pearce

England head coach Steve McClaren has called for a permanent boss for the under-21s, and Pearce claims the loss of two influential players from the England squad backs his claim.

Bentley's late withdrawal through claimed exhaustion, came after the deadline for replacing players ruled out through reasons other than injury.


Pearce said: "Part of the job spec would be getting to the clubs, meeting the managers and forging tighter links with the players and managers, so the situation which has occurred this time doesn't reoccur."

The England U21 coach has refused to pin the blame on Blackburn for Bentley's withdrawal.

He said: "Players are totally responsible for their own destiny and I think that is the case this time.

"It probably suits the club that the player is rested and ready for next season. But if David himself said 'I want to go to this tournament' it wouldn't be a problem in Blackburn releasing him.

"I have another of their players here in Matt Derbyshire so it is not a blanket ban from the club."

  • Listen to England U21 v Czech Republic U21 on Five Live Sports Extra and this website (UK users only), Monday 11 June 1715 BST

    Bentley responds to U21 criticism
    09 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Bentley withdrawal angers Pearce
    08 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    O'Neill takes Agbonlahor U21 rap
    31 May 07 |  Internationals
    FA names 30-man England U21 squad
    10 May 07 |  Internationals


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