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Mar, 29, 2012

FA still looking beyond Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce is overseeing the process of alerting 45-plus players to be on standby for Euro 2012 - but ESPNsoccernet understands this is not an indicator that he has been lined up to take the team to the tournament.

Pearce is certainly available to lead England at the finals but the possibility of appointing a successor to Fabio Capello prior to the tournament remains on the agenda for the FA.

Stand-in coach Pearce told members of his squad for the recent friendly with Netherlands that they would be on standby for the European Championship, and he has drawn up a list of all the players who have participated in England squads for "a significant period", which would mean close to 50 players being put on stand-by.

The Club England board has empowered Pearce to go through the process of preparing for the tournament, but he is aware that he may be asked to step aside if they chose an alternative successor to Capello.

Sending a letter to all players who have been involved in England squads for the past 18 months is a routine practice.

The FA still plans to appoint the new coach ahead of the Euros if possible and then, as Trevor Brooking suggested recently, "parachute" the new manager straight into the finals.

Although Pearce has tinkered with Capello's original training arrangements and schedule for the tournament, there is plenty of flexibility for the new England manager to put his own stamp on preparations.

Pearce is keeping the seat warm for the new man and has held a series of meetings with Premier League managers to discuss the form and fitness of England's players, but he has not been led to believe there is a chance he may get the job as has been widely reported.

If Pearce did land the job it would be because of the FA failing to land its first-choice manager; Harry Redknapp is still being touted as the overwhelming favourite, with Roy Hodgson also among the candidates.

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