england v hungary

Pearce: England players must play with pride

August 10, 2010
By Soccernet staff

England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce has called on the senior players to rediscover pride in playing for their country after the World Cup finals.

GettyImagesStuart Pearce's famous penalty shootout celebration against Spain at Euro 96

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Pearce, perhaps one of the most passionate players ever to wear the England shirt, believes the players no longer enjoy playing for their country and somehow have to turn that around.

Pearce said: "For whatever reason, we didn't have enough players playing to their full potential. We won nine out of 10 qualifiers which suggests we are not a bad side. We have to make sure when the pressure is cranked up a bit more, and you wear the England shirt, it acts as maybe more of an uplifting rather than a downlifting experience.

"You've got to make it enjoyable when you meet up with England. It's also about enhancing that pride in representing your country. It has got to be enjoyable. Then the players play a touch more relaxed than they looked as though they did in the summer.''

In terms of Capello learning the lessons of the summer, Pearce said: "There is no doubt. I class Fabio as a student of the game. He strikes me as someone who continually wants to learn. His CV is as good as anyone in the world. He strikes me all the time as someone who wants to continually get better at his job.

"This tournament just gone will serve as a great learning curve for him, as it has for me, and the rest of the squad that were involved.''