Pearce eyes Euro glory

Stuart Pearce says he has a “burning ambition” to lead England Under-21s to success at the upcoming European Championships in Israel (England 5/1 – Tournament Outright).

The Young Lions are preparing for their opening match of the tournament against Italy on Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening (England 2/1, draw 21/10, Italy 6/4 – Match Prices).

As well as Devis Mangia’s talented Azzurrini side they will also play Norway and hosts Israel in a tough-looking Group A.

They are bidding to lift the trophy for a third time, though the last time they did that was in 1984, with their best performance since being a 4-0 thrashing by Germany in the 2009 final.

That was Pearce’s first major tournament in full charge of the side, though he did occupy the role on a part-time basis when England reached the semi-finals in 2007.

The 2011 edition of the tournament was less successful, with England crashing out at the group stage in Denmark.

Pearce is hoping for fourth time lucky this time round, though he is also keen to stress that simply qualifying for the tournament is an achievement in itself.

“When you look at my time in charge, France have not been here once and they are a major side,” said the 51-year-old. “To get here and be part of this fantastic tournament is a success in itself.

“When we start our journey every two years, we sit our players down and we talk about winning the tournament. We are here to win the tournament.

“I would be really disappointed if there was not seven other nations here not here to win it as well. That is the message I only ever send out to the squad.

“If I strip it down, the burning ambition inside me is to win it.”

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