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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 4, 2010

Pearce brings in fresh faces for England U-21s

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has called four new players into his squad for the friendly against Uzbekistan at Ashton Gate on August 10, but there is no room for Arsenal duo Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

Blackburn central defender Phil Jones and Liverpool full-back Martin Kelly plus Aston Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton and Sunderland's Jordan Henderson have been included in Pearce's 19-man squad, with Gibbs and Wilshere expected to be considered for Fabio Capello's senior side.

The Under-21s lost to Greece in March and need to beat both Portugal and Lithuania to qualify for the play-offs.

''We're looking forward to playing again after sitting on a defeat for five months. The defeat to Greece put us in a difficult position in the group so we need to be ready,'' said Pearce.

''It's given us a lot of planning time, so to have a friendly next week is great for us. Going into two important, must-win games next month without this game first would be unthinkable.

''It's not just good for fitness, but to have a look at some new players and tactics. It will also provide one or two players with a chance to stake a claim for the new season.

''Henderson would have been with us in March but he picked up an injury which ruled him out. Phil Jones did fantastically well at the back end of last season at Blackburn. Anyone who gets in and plays in the Premier League has got to be taken seriously. He's still a very young player.

''I caught Marc Albrighton at the end of last season and Steve Wigley saw him again this season. He did extremely well on both occasions and thoroughly deserves to be with us. Martin Kelly has played for Liverpool in this pre-season and I also saw him with the younger age groups, so it's a great opportunity for him.''

The Uzbekistan game is England's only warm-up leading into their European Championship qualifiers agains Portugal and Lithuania in September.

Full squad:

Frankie Fielding (Blackburn Rovers), Alex McCarthy (Reading), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jack Cork (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Sunderland), Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic), Fabrice Muamba (Bolton Wanderers), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Andy Carroll (Newcastle United), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

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