Pearce angry as England lose again

Nathan Redmond of Birmingham sums up England's dejection.
Nathan Redmond of Birmingham sums up England's dejection.
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Tom Ince was substituted at half-time as England U21 suffered an embarrassing end to their European Championship campaign in Israel.

The Blackpool winger struggled to get into the final group game against the host nation and was replaced by Jordan Henderson at the break.

And a disastrous tournament for Stuart Pearce’s side plummeted to new lows at Ofir Krieff scored the only goal for Israel 10 minutes from time.

The Young Lions had only pride to play for anyway, their defeats against Italy and Norway having ended their hopes of qualification for the knockout stages.

It means England return home this morning in shame, having failed to muster a single point or a goal in open play.

Pearce said: “I think basically if you don’t turn up or work hard enough in any given tournament, you won’t get any success and that was typical of today and probably the two games prior to it.

“I honestly don’t believe I should be here answering questions on behalf of them (the players). They should be here answering questions on why their performances were so poor. I don’t think it’s my responsibility at this stage to answer for a performance as bad as that. I don’t think we deserved to win a game. ”

Pearce may have been denied the services of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck, but the inquest into England’s failings could well see him lose his job.

The former England full-back’s contract expires at the end of the month, and despite Pearce making his desire to stay public, there have been few positive noises from the FA.

Pearce added: “In regard to my future, my mentality has not changed in 10 days, when I spoke to you (the press) and gave you the heads up on what my mentality would be. Results in this tournament have not affected that one iota.

“When you look around Europe you see that our team is the only team that has been here four times running. We had lost very few games in tournament football over the years and played some very good football, so there’s a middle ground somewhere.

“We’ve not performed in this tournament, that’s for sure, and there might be a multitude of reasons for that. I have to take it on the chin and obviously the players do as well.”