England 2 Netherlands 3: Stuart Pearce not looking for full-time role
Stuart Pearce insists he is not the man to take charge of England in the long term after losing to the Netherlands at Wembley
Stuart Pearce insisted he would not want to stay as England manager beyond the European championships after his side suffered a 3-2 defeat in a thrilling friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday.
Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struck early in the second half to give the Dutch a commanding 2-0 lead, before Gary Cahill and Ashley Young netted in the final five minutes.
But Pearce’s night was spoiled late on by Robben, who curled a sweetly struck left-footed shot past Joe Hart to hand the visitors victory.
“You can never guarantee any results and if we had come away from here 2-2 there might have been a better feel but it won’t affect my mentality in any way,” said Pearce.
“I feel I would be confident in taking the squad to the Euros because of the experience I have got as an international player and manager.
“That wouldn’t be daunting to me. I don’t think after that period I have the experience for this job.
“I really enjoyed this week. I would enjoy the summer if that opportunity was there. All I’m doing is buying the Football Association some time if they’ve not got someone in place.
“The full-time manager of England is somebody else at this moment in time. It certainly isn’t me.”
Robben opened the scoring in spectacular fashion after he collected the ball at half-way and sprinted towards Hart’s goal before unleashing a low unstoppable drive.
The visitors were in control and extended their lead in the 59th minute when Dirk Kuyt’s cross was met by Huntelaar – the striker’s emphatic header leaving Hart with no chance.
Pearce’s side responded in the 85th minute when Leighton Baines’ pass was collected by Gary Cahill, who produced a striker’s finish to pull one back for England.
And the home side thought they had salvaged a draw when Young scored with a delicate chip – but Robben had the final say deep into stoppage time, firing his effort past Hart.
“It’s disappointing for us but the exercise was to learn from it,” said Pearce. “They were up against an outstanding side who had probably their full team out for the start of the game.
“The Robbens and the Robin van Persies of this world are outstanding footballers and the exercise of it will stand our young players in good stead.
“All we needed was a touch more belief that we could go and hurt an opposition of this ability a touch more. I think it is the missing ingredient that we need to find.
“We had a few skirmishes around their goal. I would have liked to have seen that on a more regular basis possibly.”