Pearce disappointed as England’s fightback allowed to go to waste

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ENGLAND’S caretaker manager Stuart Pearce admitted his inexperienced side showed “a little bit of naivety” in last night’s 3-2 friendly loss to Holland at Wembley.

Pearce’s first game as England’s interim manager ended in defeat as Arjen Robben scored a stoppage-time winner.

Holland struck twice in two minutes early in the second half through Robben and substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Gary Cahill and Ashley Young looked to have salvaged a draw for England by netting twice in three minutes but Robben had the final say.

“We probably showed a little bit of naivety and a slight lack of belief,” Pearce conceded. “That’s something we’ve got to get into the squad, going forward.

“Once we’d got ourselves back into the game, we’re disappointed to have been beaten. But there were a few good showings, we learned a lot and that was the exercise.”

Asked if last night had given him an appetite for leading England at Euro 2012, Pearce said: “I’ve offered my services in the summer.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last few days. It’s been fantastic and the players have been outstanding. Their focus and contribution in training has been very good. I enjoyed (the game).

“I don’t think I took the post to prove anything to anyone. I’m in a situation as Under-21 manager and they needed someone to fill in on the short term and I also said ‘if you need me to take the team to the championships in the summer (I will)’ and that’s it.

“I’m sure they’ll go through the process of getting someone in place before the summer and if they don’t, then they know they have got me available and all the planning is done.”

Pearce explained his decision to give Scott Parker the captain’s armband ahead of such as Steven Gerrard.

“I feel as though he’s got the personality around the other players and I think he would grow being the captain,” Pearce said.

“I think the other players respect him and I think he’s a very unselfish man. Make no mistake – there were a lot of candidates to do the job but I felt Scott was the right man for the job (last night).”

Pearce confirmed Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was hospitalised after sustaining a gash to his head in an unfortunate clash with Huntelaar while Gerrard managed only half an hour before being taken off.