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Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Sunday, 28 June 2009 11:42 UK

Eriksson backs Pearce for England

Stuart Pearce
Pearce has guided England to their first major final in 25 years

Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson believes Stuart Pearce can make the step up from national under-21 coach to first team manager.

Pearce has guided his side to the final of the European Under-21 Championships in Sweden, where they will face Germany on Monday.

And Eriksson told BBC Sport: "If he has proven it at under-21 why shouldn't he be able to do it with the senior team?

"Yes it's a big step, but I think he can do it in the future. Why not?"

The 47-year-old works with senior coach Fabio Capello on England duty and is seen by Eriksson as a potential successor to the Italian.

Pearce's side reached the final with a victory on penalties over Sweden after letting slip a 3-0 half-time lead.

"I'm sorry they knocked out Sweden, but it's good for England. Reaching the final of a European Championship is fantastic," said Swedish-born Eriksson, who became England's first foreign manager when he succeeded Kevin Keegan in January 2001.

He lifted England from 17th to fourth in the world rankings, but they were knocked out of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and 2004 European Championship at the quarter-final stage.

Eriksson left the England job at the end of the 2006 World Cup and took over as Manchester City manager one year later in July 2007.

He guided them to ninth and a first league double over Manchester United since the 1969/70 season, but then left to take over as Mexico coach.


However, in April of this year, only 10 months after accepting the job, Eriksson was sacked.

He is still looking for a new job and expressed his desire to return to England.

"I would like to return to the Premier League but I think if you put that question to more or less every manager in the world, then they would like to do it as well," he said.

However, he admitted that he had not had any offers recently.

"Very few clubs change managers so we'll have to wait and see in the future," he said.

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see also
Germany U21 4-0 England U21
29 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Hart final ban appeal is rejected
28 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 3-3 Sweden U21 (aet)
26 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Pearce's England banish penalty pain
27 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Eng U21 v Swe U21 as it happened
26 Jun 09 |  Football
England to contest Hart booking
26 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 1-1 Germany U21
22 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 2-0 Spain U21
18 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21s 2-1 Finland U21s
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 7-0 Azerbaijan U21
08 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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