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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 18, 2008

Pearce determined to take stars to Sweden

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has insisted he will decide which players travel to the European Championships in Sweden next summer and that the concerns of club managers are of no interest to him.

Pearce has had to field questions over the selection of players such as Gabriel Agbonlahor and Theo Walcott who are currently in the full squad and could potentially be involved in England's World Cup qualifying double header against Kazakhstan and Andorra next June, with the Championships getting under way just five days after the Andorra clash.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has spoken of his concern at Walcott playing too much football, but Pearce says it is important that England take a strong and competitive squad to Scandinavia.

Pearce said: "The most important thing for me is for England to win a trophy. It would be folly for me to go there with a lesser squad. England have not won a great deal at any level for many, many years - and if we leave our best players at home we are not going to.

"The players have been happy to step up and step down, and I think the players themselves will vote with their feet. It might suit club managers [for players not to go]; they know the player will be rested and not get injured. My job is to make sure the country that I love is successful with this age group.

"My support would be unwavering even if I walked out and worked for a club. So don't ask me to have sympathy with somebody else who has the impression we should not back the national side. I can't understand the mentality.

"I don't really see the need to ring certain club managers here and there; I don't really see the relevance. The most important thing is the players will want to be there.''

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