Pearce: We lacked self-belief
Published 00:04 01/03/12 By MirrorFootball
Stuart Pearce blamed England's lack of belief after his interim reign as manager began with a 3-2 defeat against Holland at Wembley.
Arjen Robben scored the winner for Holland in injury time after goals from Gary Cahill and Ashley Young had looked like earning England an unlikely draw after they conceded two goals in two second-half minutes from Robben and Klaas Jan Huntelaar.
It left Pearce to rue his side's timidity against a Holland team which fielded nine players in the starting line-up who played in the World Cup final against Spain in 2010
Pearce said: "All they needed was a touch more belief that they could go and hurt an opposition of this ability a touch more. I think it is the missing ingredient that we need to find.
"It's disappointing for us but the exercise was to learn from it. 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."
The experience, however, has not swayed Pearce in his view that he is not ready to take on the England job full-time although he confirmed that he would be prepared to take charge for Euro 2012.
Pearce said: "I didn't see it as a big night for me. I'm not auditioning for anything. I thoroughly enjoyed the last three or four days. I'm used to management.
"I'm used to being around squads. The attitude of the players to me has been first class, focused and they have had a go in the game for me. I can't ask for any more. 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
"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."
England defender Chris Smalling was taken to hospital, along with Huntelaar, after they clashed heads as the Dutchman scored his side's second goal.
Pearce said: "Smalling took a really bad bang on his head. I spoke to him when he came off the pitch and he was conscious so hopefully he will be fine."
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard was substituted in the first half as a precaution after feeling a tight hamstring while Arsenal's Van Persie played the first half only.
Holland coach Bert van Marwijk denied there had been any deal done with Arsenal, saying: "I didn't speak with Arsene Wenger. Robin had a bit of a problem with his groin so I spoke to him before the game and said we wouldn't take any risks so he would only play one half."
Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge also limped off with an injured toe
Pearce praised his captain, Tottenham's Scott Parker, explaining why he chose him as skipper.
"I felt Scotty would grow with the role," said Pearce. "I've seen his interaction with the other players. He is well respected in the group and is an extremely unselfish player. He was an ideal man to captain the team.
"I would have liked to have come in at 2-2 and said decent result and a fair result. Credit to them, they have beaten us.
"We had a few skirmishes around their goal. I would have liked to have seen that on a more regular basis possibly."