Tag Archives: pearce

Wilfried Zaha can prove himself before he joins Manchester United, says Stuart Pearce

Zaha will show he can handle the big time ahead of United move, says Pearce

and has yet to score but Pearce is set to play him as a central striker in tonight’s friendly against Romania at Wycombe.

The past few months have been high pressure for Zaha. He made his senior England debut in Sweden, joined Manchester United for 15million, was loaned straight back to Palace and earlier this week he was banned for one game by the FA after making an offensive gesture to Leeds supporters.

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Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Pearce, though, has no concerns about Zaha’s mental strength and is expecting him to play a significant role at Euro 2013.

‘We asked Wilf to play centre forward
(against Sweden) last month rather than his natural wide position and we
might do on that again,’ said Pearce. ‘I have to bear in mind that a
lot has happened to Wilf in a short space of time.

‘He’s still one of the younger boys
and will be involved in the next qualification campaign. I’m delighted
with how he’s come in, he seems happy.

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

ENGLAND UNDER 21 v ROMANIA

ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Butland; Smith, Dawson, Wisdom, Bennett: Henderson, Shelvey: Sterling, Lansbury, Townsend: Zaha.

Kick-off: 7pm, Adams Park

Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)

TV: LIVE on ESPN from 6.30pm

'I’m seeing the same kid as I did a
couple of months ago. I think Wilf is one of those nice easy going lads
and not much worries him.

‘That’s the impression I get. We see
exactly the same in him as his football.

'Whether he’s gone to United or
stayed at Palace I’ll view him as the same player that’s learning,
maturing and will get better and better.’

It is likely Pearce will play a strong
team tonight and that will include Danny Rose, who will win his first
cap since being sent-off during the Euro 2013 qualifier against Serbia
in October; the Sunderland defender was also subjected to horrific
racial abuse that evening.

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

‘What went on in Serbia had nothing to
do with me not picking Danny,’ said Pearce. ‘I just needed to look at a
couple of others. He is suspended for the first game of the
Championship so we’ll have to start with another left back.

‘But he’s too important to me to leave
him out (this summer) for one game. We have Tom Ince missing the first
game, too, but the only way I’d leave someone out is if they were
suspended for all three group games.

'We are playing to win, so I’m
planning to play five games.’

VIDEO: RAHEEM STERLING SCORES TWO WONDER GOALS IN ENGLAND U21S TRAINING

UEFA overturn Steven Caulker"s two-game ban but uphold Tom Ince"s one-match suspension after England Under 21 match in Serbia

UEFA overturn Caulker suspension but UPHOLD Ince ban for scuffles in Serbia despite Young Lions suffering racist abuse

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

20:20 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 15 February 2013

Steven Caulker is free to play at Euro 2013 after UEFA overturned the two-game ban he was given in the wake of England Under 21s' controversial game in Serbia.

But there were mixed feelings for head coach Stuart Pearce, as Tom Ince's one-match suspension was upheld following a lengthy disciplinary hearing at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon.

The hearing stemmed from UEFA president Michel Platini appealing against the severity of the punishment that Serbia were given after their fans racially abused several of England's black players during a Euro 2013 play-off in Krusevac last October.

Appeal: Tom Ince (left) and Steven Caulker (right) could have their bans increased

Appeal: Tom Ince (left) and Steven Caulker (right) could have their bans increased

Appeal: Tom Ince's one-game ban was upheld (left) but Steven Caulker's two-game ban was overturned (right)

Serbia survived the threat of expulsion from the 2015 European Under 21 Championship but they will have to play two qualifiers behind closed doors, rather than the one match they were initially ordered to, and the fine of
65,900 administered before Christmas was unaltered.

Pearce said: 'We respect UEFA's
decision and we move on. We welcome the verdict on Steven Caulker's
suspension and choose to accept the verdict with regards to Tom Ince.
Both players should be proud of the way represented themselves to UEFA.'

Europe's governing body had the
capacity to increase the lengths of bans Caulker and Ince were going to
serve had they deemed the appeals to be frivolous.

They were looking to impose a
three-match ban on Tottenham defender Caulker, a two-game suspension for
Ince and hit the Football Association with a 50,000 fine for failing
to control their players.

Sickening: Caulker is led away by Pearce after the incidents, which saw Serbia fined for racist abuse

Sickening: Caulker is led away by Pearce after the incidents, which saw Serbia fined for racist abuse

Shocking: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica tries to keep players apart in the fiery clash

Shocking: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica tries to keep players apart in the fiery clash

Fury: Marvin Sordell reacts to the violent scenes, which left the FA bewildered by England player sanctions

Fury: Marvin Sordell reacts to the violent scenes, which left the FA bewildered by England player sanctions

However, Caulker, Ince and Pearce all
conveyed the extreme circumstances that England faced at the end of a
game they won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Connor Wickham.

As a result, there was no fine for
the FA and while Ince, who is understood to be disappointed, will sit
out the game against Italy on June 5, Caulker is free to play in the
tournament.

His only punishment for his
involvement in the melee that erupted after Wickham's last-minute
goal is one day's community service.

The post-match brawl began after
England defender Danny Rose complained of monkey chants whenever he
touched the ball. He was sent off after the final whistle for after
kicking a ball into the stands, gesturing to the crowd as he walked off
the pitch.

Tom Ince says he can make it at international level

Ince believes his double against Sweden proves he can cut it at the top

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 6 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:54 GMT, 7 February 2013

Tom Ince believes he has shown his doubters he can be a force at international level after a watershed night in his England Under 21 career.

The Blackpool winger scored twice in the 4-0 thumping of Sweden on Tuesday to finally break his duck for England, six months and five games after making his debut in Azerbaijan.

Though his performances had been promising, the lack of goals had been a concern for head coach Stuart Pearce and he made a point of telling Ince so before the friendly at Walsall.

At the double: Tom Ince struck twice against Sweden

At the double: Tom Ince struck twice against Sweden

Watch how his dad reacts

Paul was watching as Tom hit a double, but did he celebrate enthusiastically enough Paul's wife didn't seem to think so…

But Ince’s response was impressive and now he is determined to spearhead England’s quest to win Euro 2013, which begins in Israel in June.

‘It is hard when you are scoring at club level and it is not happening for you at international level,’ said Ince, who has found the net 16 times so far for Blackpool this year. I had been trying to break the duck and I had been a bit unfortunate. That’s why it was so nice to get off the mark.

‘Things hadn’t been falling for me but I
feel that breaking my duck can now really help me push on. It has taken
the doubts out of my mind. It was a proud moment to score wearing that
shirt and hopefully there will be more to come.’

Proud: Ince was delighted to get firing on the international stage

Proud: Ince was delighted to get firing on the international stage

There is little doubt Ince, who has set himself the target of finishing the Championship campaign with 25 goals, will make the cut for England’s 23-man squad and it is likely Pearce will be given the green light to take several big names with him to Israel.

While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are set to travel to Brazil with the senior team, Pearce is hoping there will be enough co-operation from Premier League clubs to enable significant players such as Raheem Sterling, Wilfred Zaha, Jonjo Shelvey and Phil Jones to travel.

‘The trouble with being a professional footballer is you never know when your form's going to come and go,’ said Pearce.

Step up: Players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been called up to the senior squad

Step up: Players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been called up to the senior squad

‘I see a lot of players being rested but on my behalf, as an international and a patriot of this country, where would the priority be on the burnout

‘Should the clubs rest for the national team I've always said the same thing – unless you take your strongest squad you can't be competitive. Roy (Hodgson) had firmly echoed that and hopefully we will take a strong squad to the championships.'

England U21 4 Sweden U21 0 match report

England U21 4 Sweden U21 0: Ince scores twice as young guns shine in Walsall

– is an ideal
way to start the calendar year for coach Stuart Pearce, who will be
gunning for success at June's Euro 2013 finals in Israel, with talks
over his own future put on hold until after the tournament.

Injuries robbed Pearce of Raheem
Sterling, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw but it was still a strong line-up
which took to the field, skippered by Henderson – on Sunday voted Under
21s Player of the Year.

Liverpool team-mate Shelvey blazed
over a good chance early on after a lively burst from Ince before
Henderson himself planted a free header wide.

Double: Jonjo Shelvey scored England's second goal in the 30th minute

Double: Jonjo Shelvey scored England's second goal in the 30th minute

Relieved: Shelvey missed a header from two yards out just before scoring

Relieved: Shelvey missed a header from two yards out just before scoring

It was no surprise when a dominant England opened the scoring after 10 minutes.

Shelvey found marauding right-back
Smith with a delightful ball and he in turn sent a teasing low cross
into the box which was slotted home by Ince.

England were in complete control and
it should have been 2-0 after 18 minutes as the impressive Shelvey
somehow headed wide Henderson's cross with the goal at his mercy.

Cruising: Shelvey celebrates his goal with Josh McEachran

Cruising: Shelvey celebrates his goal with Josh McEachran

But Shelvey soon made amends as he
doubled the hosts' advantage, slotting home Ince's miscued shot off the
underside off the crossbar at the far post after Smith had again been
found in space down the right.

It was 3-0 just before half-time as
Sweden centre-back Filip Helander brought down Ince in the area, Josh
McEachran saw his penalty saved by keeper Andreas Linde but Ince swept
home the rebound.

With his side already in the driving seat at the break, Pearce introduced Wickham, Will Hughes and Henri Lansbury.

Rebound: McEachran had a first-half penalty saved before Ince followed up to score

Rebound: McEachran had a first-half penalty saved before Ince followed up to score

Rebound: McEachran had a first-half penalty saved before Ince followed up to score

Ince was denied his hat-trick on the hour mark following a great save from close range by replacement stopper August Stromberg.

Goalscoring opportunities dried up
after the break as both managers made a host of changes although the
Young Lions remained comfortable, with goalkeeper Jason Steele still to
make a meaningful save of note.

But the home side did register a fourth in the 77th minute, Wickham heading home Lansbury's deep cross.

Wickham was denied a fifth by Stromberg but England still ran out easy winners in front of a healthy sell-out crowd of 9,758.

Rout: Connor Wickham rises to head in England's fourth goal

Rout: Connor Wickham rises to head in England's fourth goal

Impressive: Stuart Pearce's side were dominant

Impressive: Stuart Pearce's side were dominant

Spurned: Derby's Will Hughes rues a missed chance

Spurned: Derby's Will Hughes rues a missed chance

Joey Barton and Dietmar Hamann in Twitter war

Don't try to call me out, maggot: Raging Barton's tirade at former City team-mate Hamann

, and his family life.

Hamann began gambling after his marriage broke down towards the end of his footballing career.

When it all kicked off: Hamann told Barton to keep out of club politics

When it all kicked off: Hamann told Barton to keep out of club politics

Old team-mates: Hamann left and Barton (centre) playing for Man City

Old team-mates: Hamann left and Barton (centre) playing for Man City

'There was a time when I was on my own
when I got into spread betting. A painful and expensive experience,'
Hamann told BBC Radio Manchester last year.

'You have to look in the mirror and say “Can you carry on like this or this is way you want to carry on”'

He added: 'There was one night which cost me over 200,000 and that was obviously a long and painful night.

To and fro: The argument got personal with Barton persisting on his tangent

To and fro: The argument got personal with Barton persisting on his tangent

Blue boy: Hamann with Stuart Pearce when he signed for Man City

Blue boy: Hamann with Stuart Pearce when he signed for Man City

'You've got face up to it and when you wake up the next morning you look in the mirror and don't like what you see.'

The Twitter row continued with Barton seemingly becoming increasingly angry as the jibes he sent to Hamann became more personal.

'What a player you where (sic)' typed Barton. 'Tragic. Now do one Tourette's face!'

Using the term 'England international', with reference to Barton's international career which has seen him win just one cap, Hamann antagonised his target.

In a bizarre conclusion to the conversation, Barton tweeted: 'Disappointed in myself for getting involved in that. But never let a dog try to tell u its not a dog an that u are! A dogs a f****** dog…'.

The pair had played alongside each other in City's central midfield in the 2006-07 season.

Barton then moved to Newcastle at the end of that year, a club Hamann had played at almost a decade earlier.

Former Newcastle player Nolberto Solano then chipped in, telling Barton he was a 'good player but lack(ed a) yard of pace. Also lost temper too much.'

He also had kind words for Hamann, saying the man who had won the Champions League and played for Germany over 50 times deserved respect.

Sir Alex Ferguson sets to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha

Fergie set to beat rivals with lease deal for Palace star Zaha

|

UPDATED:

21:34 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manchester United boss Sir Alex
Ferguson could land 10million Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, 20,
in January by letting him spend the rest of the season on loan at
Selhurst Park.

Palace are willing to listen to
offers for Zaha right away if they do not disrupt the club's campaign
for promotion to the Premier League.

Target: Wilfried Zaha in action for Crystal Palace

Target: Wilfried Zaha in action for Crystal Palace

United agreed a similar deal in 2010 when they bought 8m defender Chris Smalling from Fulham and then let him see out the rest of the season at Craven Cottage before moving to Old Trafford.

United, Arsenal and Spurs are all closely monitoring the player who is a firm favourite of England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce.

Stuart Pearce blamed for losing Victor Moses to Nigeria

Pearce blamed for losing flying Chelsea winger Moses to Nigeria

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UPDATED:

08:31 GMT, 28 November 2012

England Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce has been singled out for blame after Chelsea’s dual-nationality forward Victor Moses chose to play for Nigeria rather than England.

Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan, who oversaw Moses’s development at Selhurst Park, says the often taciturn Pearce should have done more to make the 21-year-old welcome during his time with his England side.

Blame game: Victor Moses (right) will play for Nigeria not England and Stuart Pearce has been blamed

Blame game: Victor Moses (right) will play for Nigeria not England and Stuart Pearce has been blamed

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And managers Neil Warnock and Roberto
Martinez, who had Moses in their respective teams at Palace and Wigan,
have also criticised the FA for not persuading the player to pick
England.

Jordan’s faith in Moses’s potential extended to the multi-millionaire football chairman having a 50,000 bet with former Arsenal forward Paul Merson that Moses would win more England caps than Merson’s tally of 21 — although that wager has been voided by the Nigeria decision.

The FA strongly defend Pearce’s interactions with Moses, saying that a lot of effort was made to keep the player in the national set-up. And they point to plenty of other young internationals opting for England when given a choice.

Roy Hodgson’s assistant Gary Neville was asked about Moses snubbing England while he was doing the Sky co-commentary of the Chelsea-Manchester City game last Sunday.

Neville shifted the blame on to the system that allows England to develop youngsters through junior sides only to lose them at senior level.

Why didn't you welcome him Simon Jordan says Pearce should have put the boat out

Why didn't you welcome him Simon Jordan says Pearce should have put the boat out

Coe's pulling power

Lord Coe’s arrival as chairman of the British Olympic Association has resulted in their high-quality director of communications Darryl Siebel, who was due to return to the United States after the 2012 Games, deciding to stay on to work with the new regime under Coe. Siebel’s welcome U-turn came just as a shortlist of candidates to replace him was being drawn up.

Sugar pill: UEFA are launching a charm offensive on England

Sugar pill: UEFA are launching a charm offensive on England

Wembley choice a sweetener

UEFA are using the Champions League final returning to Wembley for the second time in three years in 2013 — as well as their Congress being held in London next year — as evidence that president Michel Platini is not as anti-English as is so often perceived.

Both venue choices were ultimately the decision of Platini, who will also improve his popularity over here if plans to reduce the extortionate price of tickets for the CL showpiece come to fruition.

A UEFA charm offensive with the English media also includes appointing former Press Association sports chief Andy Elliott as a point of liaison with UEFA headquarters in Nyon.

Chang a Monaco man

Jen Chang, Liverpool’s hapless former media chief who was never suited to the post, has shown an even more unlikely interest in becoming director of football at Monaco — especially as one of the reasons given for his departure from Anfield was that his family was still based in New York.

One link for Chang is that Bruce Bundrant, Liverpool’s former head of partnerships, is commercial director at Monaco. But he only overlapped with Chang at Anfield for a few weeks.

Hamann for all seasons

Dietmar Hamann, the former Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder best known for scoring Germany’s winner at Wembley that led to Kevin Keegan’s departure as England manager, is not the first person you would expect to be so active on Twitter offering encouragement to England’s cricketers. Germany is hardly a hotbed of the game.

Remembered: Dietmar Hamann rifled home a free kick against England

Remembered: Dietmar Hamann rifled home a free kick against England

BT's Olympic aim

BT Vision’s coverage of the Premier League next season is expected to be presented from the Olympic Park’s media centre, which will give the network the 40,000 square feet of space it wanted for the hub of its new sports channel.

Talks are in progress with iCity, who won the legacy bid to develop the Press and Broadcast buildings. BT had been negotiating with ITV to produce the PL football content, for which they paid 738million.

But the discussions broke down around the proposed ITV studio location at their South Bank HQ as BT did not want to squeeze in with other productions.

After ITV’s withdrawal, the BT tender is being contested by Sunset & Vine, IMG media and North One.

Stuart Pearce: England U21s contract extension is uncertain

Pearce admits he could face England U21s axe despite record-breaking year

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UPDATED:

15:36 GMT, 15 November 2012

Stuart Pearce has cast doubt on his long-term role as England Under 21 head coach after admitting he does not know if he will be offered a new contract.

The young Lions ended their most successful calendar year since 1991 with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Tuesday. It was their sixth consecutive win, five were achieved with clean sheets, and It came after they qualified for Euro 2013 with success in Serbia.

England will warm up for the tournament in Israel with friendlies next year against Sweden and Austria at home, plus a trip to France, but whether Pearce will be in charge for the next qualification campaign, which begins next September, remains to be seen.

Uncertain future: Stuart Pearce does not know if he will be handed a new deal

Uncertain future: Stuart Pearce does not know if he will be handed a new deal

His current deal expires after Euro 2013 and The FA have not approached him over new terms. Pearce has been in the role since 2006 and remains relaxed that the discussions have not yet started.

Young Lions' year to remember…

Feb 29 – England 4 Belgium 0

Sept 06 – Azerbaijan 0 England 2

Sept 10 – England 1 Norway 0

Oct 12 – England 1 Serbia 0

Oct 16 – Serbia 0 England 1

Nov 13 – England 2 Northern Ireland 0

‘I enjoy the job I do’ said Pearce. ‘I have been reasonably successful but not as successful as I would have liked to have been. Who knows what is in the future

‘I am contracted until next summer and that has been the case every time I have gone into a major tournament. We will see (what happens).

‘Everything has got a plus to it and that is what you have to draw out of it. Yes, I would like more contact with players at times on a daily basis and more games to test myself.

Annus mirabilis: The young Lions have won six matches in a row under Pearce

Annus mirabilis: The young Lions have won six matches in a row under Pearce

‘The other side of that I have is the environment I am working in. It gives me great pride to work for the FA; working with the best players in the country is a fantastic option.

‘There are pluses and minuses in both options. I am enjoying what I am doing and we will see where it takes us over the next few months.’

England have set a record in qualifying for four consecutive tournaments but they have not been crowned European Champions at this level since 1984. Pearce, however, says success in Israel will have no influence over whether he stays on as head coach.

‘It would be irrelevant,’ he said. ‘I would like to win the tournament but I have been trying to do that for the last five years. We have had a final, a semi-final and a group stage.

‘We will try and prepare the team as well as we can and give them as many options going into the summer.’

Stuart Pearce names five new faces for England Under-21 friendly

Pearce names five newcomers for England U21 friendly against Northern Ireland

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UPDATED:

12:55 GMT, 8 November 2012

England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce has rested several of his big-name players as he looked to the future for his first match since last month's stormy win in Serbia.

Tuesday's friendly against Northern Ireland will be see the Young Lions without Raheem Sterling, Steven Caulker and Jonjo Shelvey – who were promoted to the senior squad – while Danny Rose, Jack Butland, Craig Dawson, Henri Lansbury, Nathan Delfouneso and Marvin Sordell were also omitted.

There were maiden call-ups for Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, Chelsea defender Nathaniel Chalobah, Leicester defender Liam Moore, Derby midfielder Will Hughes and Bolton's on-loan Arsenal striker Benik Afobe.

Debutant: Afobe has been called up by Pearce to face Northern Ireland

Debutant: Afobe has been called up by Pearce to face Northern Ireland

There were also recalls for Nathaniel
Clyne and Sammy Ameobi for next week's Under-21 Championship warm-up at
Blackpool's Bloomfield Road.

Pearce hopes the match in Blackpool
will give him plenty to think about ahead of making a final selection
for the championships in Israel, and also for future competitions.

In black and white: Sammy Ameobi has been recalled

In black and white: Sammy Ameobi has been recalled

'This will be an opportunity for a
number of younger players, and those who have not had much game time, to
impress and put themselves in contention for a place on the plane next
summer,' Pearce told www.TheFA.com.

'There are young players within this
group who will be able to go again with the Under-21s for the 2015
campaign, so every chance to play for England will give them experience
they will no doubt call upon in the future.'

The Young Lions did not concede a
single goal during the final stages of qualification for Euro 2013, and
will be looking to make it a record sixth consecutive victory next week.

Pearce added: 'I am proud of how well the team has performed this year to clinch qualification for the finals yet again.

'We are now one game away from a sixth consecutive victory, a feat not achieved at Under-21s level for over 20 years.

Promotion: Sterling has been called up to the full England squad

Promotion: Sterling has been called up to the full England squad

'Hopefully a solid performance here tonight will also provide the team with a springboard as we build for Israel.'

The fall-out from England Under-21s play-off clash in Serbia continues.

Trouble flared at the match on
October 16 after England's Connor Wickham struck in injury time to
secure a 1-0 win and passage to next summer's finals courtesy of a 2-0
aggregate success.

Missiles were thrown and things
turned ugly as some fans got on to the pitch, while there were clashes
involving players and staff from both teams.

Omitted: Rose has been left out of Pearce's squad

Omitted: Rose has been left out of Pearce's squad

The Serbian Football Association
(FSS) handed lengthy bans to two of their own players and two officials
for their part in the confrontations.

But the trouble also played out against a backdrop of alleged racial abuse from the stands towards England players.

Defender Danny Rose, who made a
specific complaint, was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a
ball away in anger amid the chaos.

European governing body UEFA
launched their own disciplinary proceedings, charging the FA over the
behaviour of their players and the FSS with the same and for the alleged
racist chanting.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body will convene on November 22 to deal with the case.

The FA are also continuing to
communicate with the Balkan nation over reports criminal charges had
been laid against Steven Caulker and Tom Lees, plus coach Steve Wigley.

'The FA continues to remain in close
contact with the UK Government regarding the continued media reports of
Serbian police charging England U21 players and staff,” the FA said in a
statement last week.

'There remains no formal communication of any charges to the FA or the government.

'However, we understand there has
been a verbal communication of the names of the individuals concerned,
which we now believe to be England players Steven Caulker and Tom Lees,
and coach Steve Wigley.

'The FA would like to reaffirm its
support for all of our players and staff and we have spoken with the
players' clubs and those named to express this.

'The FA has been taking legal advice
in both the UK and Serbia to provide appropriate protection should any
charges be brought. 'We welcome the support we are receiving from the UK
government.'

England Under 21 squad to face Northern Ireland

Goalkeepers: Amos (Hull City – on
loan from Manchester United), Johnstone (Manchester United),
Steele (Middlesbrough)

Defenders: Chalobah (Watford – on loan
from Chelsea), Clyne (Southampton), Lees (Leeds), Moore (Leicester City), Robinson (Liverpool), Smith
(Millwall – on loan from Tottenham), Wisdom (Liverpool)

Midfielders: Henderson (Liverpool), Hughes (Derby), Lowe (Blackburn), McEachran (Middlesbrough – on loan
from Chelsea), Powell (Manchester United), Townsend
(Tottenham)

Forwards: Afobe (Bolton – on loan
from Arsenal), Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United), Ince (Blackpool),
Wickham (Sunderland), Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Manchester United"s Nick Powell to be called up for England Under 21s for Northern Ireland friendly

United teen Powell handed England Under 21 call-up for Northern Ireland friendly

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 7 November 2012

International call-up: Nick Powell

International call-up: Nick Powell

Nick Powell is set to belatedly launch his England Under 21 career next week in the friendly against Northern Ireland at Blackpool.

The 18-year-old Manchester United midfielder was called up for last month’s Euro 2013 qualifier against Serbia but was forced to withdraw without even taking part in a training session because of illness.

Head coach Stuart Pearce, however, is eager to blood Powell as he begins the preparations for next summer’s European Championships in Israel and he will be included in the squad that gets announced.

Powell has made a positive start to life at Old Trafford following his 4million summer move from Crewe and should win his first cap at Bloomfield Road.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson will captain a squad that is chasing its sixth consecutive win, while Blackpool midfielder Tom Ince is set to win his fifth cap on home soil.