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By ESPN Staff

Pearce bemoans England U21s exit

England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce felt his players failed to deliver after they lost 3-1 against Norway to end their hopes of progressing any further in the European Championship in Israel.

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England lost 1-0 to Italy in their opening game and the defeat by Norway means they cannot progress from their group ahead of their final match against hosts Israel.

"We're disappointed. We're out of the competition. I don't think the players have done themselves credit to be honest with you, individually and collectively, and you get what you deserve in football,'' Pearce told Sky Sports.

"We have got nothing out of this tournament so far and now we have to concentrate on doing things properly for the tournament's sake and beat Israel.

"When you wear an England shirt, that's the least of the demands that are put on you.

"We're disappointed for varying reasons and we will have a look at that over the next couple of days but over the two games we didn't perform consistently enough.''

When asked why England had fared so badly, the 51-year-old said: "It's a multitude of reasons. The suspensions and injuries to a couple of our players for the first game didn't help and we never got any rhythm from the Italian game.

"I always felt before the Norwegians scored today we had the ability to cut them open and score. We passed it reasonably well without hurting them but we didn't have that edge up front.''

Pearce, whose contract is soon to expire, refused to speak about his own future with the Under-21s but accepted responsibility for the two defeats.

He said: "I don't think desire is a problem. At this stage I have to accept a defeat on my chin. Two defeats - I don't think I have ever suffered that in my six years with the Under-21s so it shows how we have set the standard.

"It's vital the players draw from that experience and we might look at a few players around the squad for the Israel game.

"The bottom line is we have come here with some players who haven't performed as well as they should have done.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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