Euro 2012 - Pearce to take charge for Dutch game

Thu, 09 Feb 12:14:00 2012

Stuart Pearce will take charge of the England team for the friendly against Holland on February 29, Football Association chairman David Bernstein has confirmed.

2010 England U21 manager Stuart Pearce - 0

Fabio Capello resigned as England manager on Wednesday following the decision by the FA to strip John Terry of the captaincy because of his pending racism trial in July. Terry denies a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in October.

Pearce, who served as Capello's assistant, is the England U21 boss and will take charge of the Great Britain men's Olympic team this summer, will look after senior national team affairs in the short term at least. He had been due to be in charge of the U21s against Belgium in Middlesbrough on February 29.

Bernstein told a press conference at Wembley: "I can announce that Stuart Pearce will manage the England team against Holland.

"He has huge experience outside and inside the organisation. He has been working with the under-21 team and has been working with Fabio for some time. I have got great confidence in Stuart, we will be in good hands.

"Our priority then will be to appoint a new England manager."

Harry Redknapp has become the overwhelming favourite to succeed Capello in the long term.

Capello quits as England manager

Bernstein added that after the Dutch game they had a totally "open mind" about the future.

When asked if England could go to the tournament with a caretaker coach, Bernstein replied: "I would say that is a possibility, all options are open.

"We are not prepared to restrict ourselves at this stage. He might be English, he might be British, he might not be, he might be for the Euros only, he might be long-term.

"We need to look at all the options. It would be pointless, 24 hours or less after we have lost our manager, to start limiting ourselves."

Following the friendly against the Dutch, England play Norway on May 26 and Belgium on June 2 before the Euros where they face France on June 11, Sweden on June 15 and Ukraine on June 19.

While some England players and almost every pundit have called for Redknapp to be installed as Capello's replacement, the 64-year-old said that he had not thought about managing England and was totally focused on his job at Spurs and their next match on Saturday against Newcastle United.

Speaking a day after being found not guilty on two charges of evading tax after a 13-day trial in London, Redknapp said: "I don't know anything about the England job. I've not thought about it.

"I've got a big job to do, I've got a big game on Saturday with Tottenham so Tottenham is my focus."

Tottenham are also unlikely to allow Redknapp to leave before the end of the season at the earliest as they continue their push for a probable Champions League spot next season while retaining an outside chance of landing their first League title since 1961.

They are currently third in the Premier League, seven points behind leaders Manchester City with 14 matches still to play.

Bernstein, and fellow FA officials Alex Horne, Adrian Bevington and Trevor Brooking, would not be drawn on Redknapp's possible appointment on either a short-term or long-term basis.

However, FA general secretary Horne said they were fully aware of the widespread support for Redknapp.

"Of course we understand the feeling of the nation and the supporters. The England fans are very important when it comes to choosing the right person," he said.

"But we have to sit down and look long-term and give ourselves as many options as are available. We owe it to ourselves to write-up the job brief and we've got an exhaustive list."

Bernstein added that the FA's immediate concern had been to get a manager in place for the Netherlands game, explaining: "We have got a match in three weeks' time. We need a short-term quick answer.

"We have some very good football people within the FA set-up and Stuart is one of them and is a first class available option for the match."

He would not ignore the possibility of Pearce being the long-term successor to Capello.

"We have an open mind beyond that. He is not ruled out," Bernstein said.

Reuters / PA Sport

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