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By ESPN Staff

Pearce has no plans to leave Under-21 role

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has insisted he is 'not going anywhere' ahead of the clash with Bulgaria in Milton Keynes tomorrow night.

Pearce has been linked with the vacancy at Barclays Premier League strugglers Wigan after guiding his young charges to four wins out of four in their Euro 2009 qualifying group but is adamant he is committed to his role.

He said: 'I will stay with the FA for as long as they want me or the duration of my contract - it's as simple and as straightforward as that for me.

'It's very nice to be linked with jobs, especially Premier League jobs, but as far as I'm concerned this group of players need to know who their manager is for the duration of a qualification campaign.

'They need continuity and I'm prepared to give them that. I'm not going anywhere and will hopefully lead this side to winning a tournament in two years' time.

'Money is irrelevant to me as my work is much more important to me than that.'

Pearce will lead his side out against the Bulgarians at the 22,000 capacity stadium:mk, home of Coca-Cola League Two leaders MK Dons, just two hours before Steve McClaren takes charge of the senior side in Austria.

And the former Manchester City boss believes McClaren deserves to stay in his job.

A win for Russia in Israel on Saturday would leave McClaren's side with almost no chance of qualifying for Euro 2008 but Pearce believes that he remains the right man to be in charge.

He said: 'I don't set my standards by the short-termism of today's society.

'In football you can win a game and be the best there is and then lose a game and be unemployable.

'I find that quite incredible and I hope from the organisation's point of view that we qualify for the tournament next summer and that Steve is still the manager.

'England are a major force and we have to be at tournaments.

'I don't think that it's odds-on that we won't qualify at this moment in time. By Wednesday evening we may have qualified and I really hope that is the case.

'I feel that Steve is still the best man for the job. I've got a great link with him and I hope that carries on for a couple of years.'

Pearce will be without a clutch of key players as his side defend an 18-match unbeaten run, with Leicester's 17-year-old Joe Mattock poised to start at left-back.

Defenders Nedum Onuoha and Andrew Taylor, Wolves winger Michael Kightly and strikers James Vaughan and Cameron Jerome have all pulled out of Pearce's squad, while Manchester City striker Ishmael Miller - on loan at Coca-Cola Championship side West Bromwich Albion - has been added.

And Pearce was delighted with the desire to be involved among his injured players .

He said: 'You always want everyone available so the selection problems are your problems, but we've not had that this time.

'But what has pleased me is that everyone has been desperate to be here.

'I've had players drive down from Manchester and Wolverhampton just to be told that they are nowhere near full fitness and we've had to put them straight back into a taxi to send them back.

'But they want to be here and want to be part of this set-up.

'We've had to call up a couple of lads who haven't been involved with me before but it gives them an opportunity.

'At the end of this week I may have three or four new boys who will have shown me that they need to stay in the squad, so you have to take the positives.'