Stuart Pearce has admitted that he has never been able to pick “the best” bunch of Under-21s in any squad since taking charge almost four years ago.
The Young Lions suffered a 2-1 defeat against Belgium on Monday as Pearce fielded a side without some of his top stars due to England’s internationals against Spain and Sweden.
Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell and Danny Welbeck were among the big names that missed the tie due to senior commitments.
Pearce has said “The only way to compare the England Under-21s against the rest is to get all the best players and take them on.
We don’t seem to be able to do that, I have never picked my strongest team once. Never,”
Despite the defeat England are still in a prime position to qualify from their European Championship Qualifying Group.
The return leg of the Belgium tie is Pearce’s next fixture in late February next year. Azerbaijan and finally Norway are the penultimate games for the Young Lions to determine their qualification fate.