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Hodgson plays down Pearce claims of England U21 weakness

England manager Roy Hodgson does not agree with Stuart Pearce's claims that he weakened the England U21 team this summer.

Pearce lost his job after the Young Lions failed miserably at the European U21 Championships in Israel, citing Hodgson's decision to call his best players up to the seniors as the reason, but the Three Lions manager does not agree.

"There were players missing for the Under-21s in the summer but through injury," he told The Daily Mail.

"The only player who actually could have gone was (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain and he came with us, because (Phil) Jones hadn't been fit and wasn't considered.

"Under-21 tournaments are for the development of players. It's the senior team above all that counts."

However, Hodgson did admit that things were being looked at in regards to the development of England's national sides.

"We're looking for a very clear line going down through the Under-21, the 19s, the 17s, about how we want to play: playing out from the back, passing football and positive play," he added.

"If the FA wants to set a policy to do that, that's fine. But don't forget it would go against everything we've ever done in the past."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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