Stuart Pearce set to sign new England Under-21 deal

Stuart Pearce
Pearce made 78 appearances for the England senior team

Stuart Pearce is expected to sign a new two-year contract to remain as England Under-21 head coach, despite their exit from the European Championship.

A 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic meant England exited at the group stages of the tournament in Denmark, during which they failed to win a game.

However, the Football Association are adamant that the contract offered to Pearce in March will not be withdrawn.

The new deal will see Pearce, 49, remain in charge until 2013.

Should he put pen to paper, the former Manchester City boss will lead the Young Lions into their qualifying campaign for the 2013 European Championship finals in Israel.

The ex-England left-back - who has held the post of Under-21 coach for four years - is also favourite to coach the Great Britain football side at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Following his side's exit from the European Championship on Sunday, Pearce said his side had been handed the worst possible draw.

The defeat by the Czech Republic came after draws with both Spain and Ukraine, while in the other group Belarus made the semi-finals despite losing two of their three games.

"People don't realise the magnitude of the group we were put in," said Pearce, whose side came into the event ranked number one having reached the semi-final and final in the last two tournaments.

He added: "You've only got to look at the other group. A team's come out of that group having lost two matches.

"That tells you they might have lumped the stronger teams together. But that's tournament football."

Belarus beat Iceland before losing to group winners Switzerland and hosts Denmark, but still qualified for the semi-finals, where they will play Spain.

England looked to have set up a last-four meeting with Switzerland after Danny Welbeck put them ahead against the Czech Republic with 14 minutes left - but Jan Chramosta equalised in the 89th minute and Tomas Pekhart struck the winner in stoppage-time.

"Once you get your nose in front at that stage of the game, you hope to keep hold of it and see the game out," said Pearce.

"I wouldn't say we gave up. But we probably should have done better at the end. We have to take it on the chin, learn, and go on next season."

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