Stuart Pearce confirms he will apply for England U21 role

Stuart Pearce confirms he will be applying for the England U21 head coach role and says he meets all the criteria for the position

Former England U21 manager Stuart Pearce has confirmed he will be applying for the position for a second time and believes he has the credentials to succeed Gareth Southgate.

Sky Sports News HQ revealed on Wednesday that the former Manchester City and Nottingham Forest boss was interested in returning to the job he held for six years between 2007 and 2013.

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Pearce led England to three European Championship tournaments during his reign, but his contract was not renewed following the 2013 finals in Israel after England lost all three of their group matches.

Southgate, who replaced Pearce in the role, officially relinquished his duties as England U21 manager earlier this month after being confirmed as the national team's senior manager. 

"Whenever you go for a job, inside or outside of football, you always look at the criteria of the job and do you match the criteria that the job offer entails," Pearce told Premier League Daily.

Stuart Pearce's England U21 Record
Image: Pearce's England U21 Record

"When I read through that, I thought yeah, I do. I have done the job before, I know the job and I know the organisation. 

"One of the most motivating factors is that I really enjoyed the job, it's a fantastic job and I was very proud to work for that organisation. 

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"I know the FA comes under criticism at certain times, but what it really represents, the fans, English football, is something I am really passionate about."

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Current interim head coach Aidy Boothroyd, who attended the draw for the 2017 European Championship earlier this month, remains the firm favourite to land the job on a permanent basis.

The former Watford, Coventry and Northampton boss has previously worked with the England U20s and U19s and also fits with FA technical director Dan Ashworth's criteria to have a manager who is part of the Three Lions' "DNA".

Pearce also considers himself to be part of England's "DNA" and believes his experience of helping to devise a plan for the development of St George's Park, as well as his friendship with Southgate, will stand him in good stead for the role. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22:  Stuart Pearce of England celebrates after scoring his penalty
Image: Pearce won 78 England caps as a player

"I have got a lot of good friends there (at the FA), Gareth and I are good friends, we'll always will be," he said. 

"One of the first jobs in 2007 when I came through the door at the FA, I was asked to go and present to the board just before Christmas that year about the importance of the national football centre and having it built. 

"I had to sell it to the board, it really should have been the board selling it to me and telling me what they're going to put in place for me as a manager. 

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"I think it's vitally important (St George's Park), I don't think we've used it to its best potential as yet, but you've got to get the buy in from the senior manager for it to be centred at that place and I think Gareth certainly does."

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