Bruce - Henderson will learn
Steve Bruce has given his backing to Jordan Henderson after the Sunderland man made his England debut.
Last Updated: 18/11/10 1:25pm
Steve Bruce has given his backing to Jordan Henderson after the Sunderland youngster made his England debut against France.
Henderson took his place in a new-look Three Lions side at Wembley on Wednesday after being rewarded for his fine early-season form with a first call-up.
However, the performance of the team has been criticised following a 2-1 defeat and there were boos from the home fans at half-time and full-time.
Black Cats manager Bruce accepts that it was a difficult night for his midfielder but says he handled the occasion well and will benefit from such an experience.
"It was fantastic to see him in an England shirt and I'm sure he enjoyed it," said Bruce.
"The team struggled against France and the kid did okay. He did as well as anyone else on the night as far as I'm concerned.
"It was a tough one for him. We've got to be honest, the French were far, far better on the night. He could have done with a little bit more experience around him.
"Maybe we had a little bit too much inexperience and that showed a little bit against a very, very good French team. But he'll learn from it.
"He's had a wonderful rise in 18 months, now's the next stage, to make sure he matures and develops, and that's where we've got to be careful.
"He's a wonderful talent and we must nurture that talent and get the best out of it rather than building him up and building him up, like this country tends to do, and knocking him down very quickly."
Bruce hopes that people are patient not just with 20-year-old Henderson but also the rest of England's new crop of youngsters.
"We're clamouring to give the youngsters a chance then we get beaten by the French youngsters," he said.
"The French are in a big changeover period as well but when you look at players like (Samir) Nasri and (Florent) Malouda and (Yoann) Gourcuff, they're always going to be strong.
"Our young players will learn from it and we must be patient, which unfortunately in our country we're not."