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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pearce takes charge as England mull over successor

Pearce takes charge as England mull over successor

February 10, 2012 08:46 IST

Stuart Pearce will take temporary charge of England for this month's friendly against the Netherlands while the search for Fabio Capello's permanent successor as boss gets underway ahead of June's European Championship.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, the hot favourite to fill the vacancy, said on Thursday he was paying no attention to speculation linking him with the job and was concentrating on Saturday's Premier League match against Newcastle United.

Stuart Pearce"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," he said.

Capello, who quit the job on Wednesday after a disagreement with the Football Association over John Terry being stripped of the captaincy, issued a short statement as he flew out of London.

"I would like to thank all players, staff and Football Association for the professionalism they have shown during my years as manager of the English National Team," said the Italian, who helped England qualify for two major championships but flopped at the 2010 World Cup.

- Capello quits as England manager

"A very special thanks to all the supporters -- they've always supported the team and me in our job. I wish all of them every success in achieving all their sporting goals."

Capello resigned after 42 matches in charge leaving England without a manager or captain four months before the start of Euro 2012, where they will be aiming for their first major trophy since 1966.

- Mumbling Capello never at home in England

England Under-21 and British Olympic team coach Pearce will lead the team when they host Netherlands at Wembley on February 29, the first of their three friendlies before the start of the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine in June.

Pearce, 49, made almost 750 league appearances during his playing career. The majority was with Nottingham Forest but he also played for Coventry City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City, as well as picking up 78 caps for England.

He has been the England Under-21 manager since 2007 and was one of Capello's assistants with the senior team after the Italian took over the following year.

"He has huge experience inside and outside this organisation ... he knows the players very well," FA Chairman David Bernstein told a news conference. "I have great confidence in Stuart, we will be in good hands.

"Our priority then will be to appoint a new England manager ... with a total focus on getting the best person in place as soon as we sensibly can.

"We don't want to rush the process, we want to do it properly, do it professionally ... we'll be putting a shortlist together of key people. We'll do that as soon as we can."

Bernstein said the board would be sitting down on Friday to discuss the issue.

While Bernstein would not comment on the widespread media and player speculation over Redknapp, he said there was a preference for an Englishman to get the job.

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