Pearce backs duo for England
Cleverley and Sturridge expected to benefit from Team GB experience
Last Updated: August 6, 2012 8:00am
Stuart Pearce expects Tom Cleverley and Daniel Sturridge to be pushing for inclusion in the England squad following the duo's performances for Team GB at the Olympics.
Cleverley and Sturridge had been among Team GB's more influential performers before Pearce's side bowed out on penalties to South Korea in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Chelsea forward Sturridge has already won two caps for England, while Cleverley was included in Pearce's squad for the friendly against the Netherlands in February before the Manchester United midfielder was forced to withdraw.
However, with England coach Roy Hodgson tipped to look at younger options for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Pearce is backing Cleverley and Sturridge to be involved.
"The way Cleverley can handle the ball and with Sturridge's eye for goal, they're two individuals who can be in and around the senior England team."
Stuart Pearce Quotes of the week
"I certainly think they'll be around the squad," said Pearce. "The way Cleverley can handle the ball and with Sturridge's eye for goal, they're two individuals who can be in and around the senior England team. That's my opinion.
"They've both benefited from this tournament and they'll go back to their clubs, Man Utd and Chelsea, with something to prove."
Pearce added: "The more time you spend at tournaments and the more games you play, the more experience you pick up.
"It's been a fantastic experience to be fair. The more experience these players have, the better.
"In two years' time, the likes of Butland and Sturridge could be in Rio taking a penalty or facing a penalty, so there's that experience straight away.
"It's been great for all of us and for the likes of Steven Caulker and Tom Cleverley, they've put themselves in the shop window, both for their club and for their country.
"These are just one or two individuals who have benefited from the tournament, but I think all 18 will have done in different ways."