Pearce backed to stay on as boss despite England’s early Euro exit

ENGLAND Under-21s captain Jordan Henderson has thrown his support behind under-fire manager Stuart Pearce and hopes to see the former West Ham defender keep his job.

Pearce’s young Lions were eliminated from the European Championship with a game to spare in Group A, following their dismal 3-1 defeat to Norway on Saturday.

The 51-year-old’s contract is due to expire this month and is odds-on with bookmakers to leave after six years at the helm, but Henderson would like to see Pearce stay on.

“He has been a brilliant manager since I’ve come into the Under-21s,” said Henderson.

“He has been brilliant with all of us so I would love to see him stay on.”

England play their final match tomorrow against hosts Israel and will hope to restore some pride having also lost their first game of the tournament to Italy.

Pearce has been critical of his players and bemoaned the absence of high-profile youngsters such as Arsenal midfielders Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

However, Henderson believes England still possessed enough quality to gain better results.

“We didn’t bring a few that were with the senior team, but we can’t use that excuse,” said the Liverpool midfielder. “There were high hopes going into the tournament. It is very disappointing and all the lads were devastated in the dressing room.”