Pearce targets winning start

England U21s boss leaving it late to pick skipper

Pearce: Confident England can beat Spain

Pearce: Confident England can beat Spain

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England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has set his sights on victory against Spain in their opening European Championship match on Sunday, although he has yet to name his captain.

With the Spanish model of football currently being touted as the best in the world, many expect their young talent to win the event in Denmark.

However, Pearce feels his youngsters are just as capable and would love to pick up three points to get England's Group B campaign off to a winning start.

"The Spanish are decent but they didn't win their group. We have come here as number one seeds over the last three years but we didn't win our group either," he said.

"Every game we approach with this group of players we feel we can win the game, we set out to win the match.

"We felt as though two years ago we didn't start particularly well and we hope to start better than we did two years ago."

Fantastic game

Pearce, who was capped by England 78 times during his playing career, also said he would not adjust his team to match the Spanish set-up and will look for England to play in their own style.

He said: "We will go with a set-up that we think will win the game and with the personnel I expect to win.

"I think it will be a fantastic game for Under-21 football.

"There are lessons out there for everyone to learn. You take bits off each nation - the Germans, the Spanish, the French - what you have to do is know the squad of players you are working with and know their strengths, that is important."

It remains to be seen who will captain the England team during the tournament and although new Hamburg signing Michael Mancienne is favourite for the post, Pearce revealed he has yet to make a decision.

"We have not picked the team so when we pick the team it is fair to say the captain will be in the starting XI, but until we pick the team we don't know who it will be," he explained.

"I have quite a few (candidates) for captain I think, what I can say is that when Michael has captained the team he has got the respect of the players and done a good job."