McClaren proud of England U21

England boss Steve McClaren was delighted with the showing of Stuart Pearce's U21 team after yesterday penalty shootout heartbreak against Holland.

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"That's one in the bank for the players out there," said McClaren. "The experience they will take away and the tournament will be invaluable.

"It's for the future and can only make them better players. When they have to face situations like that again, they'll be able to take from what they have learned here."

Leroy Lita had given England the lead in Heerenveen but Maceo Rigters forced extra-time and penalties.

With Nedum Onuoha limping off and Steven Taylor barely able to walk, England had to muster every last ounce of energy to reach the shoot-out.

McClaren added: "The players can be extremely proud of themselves for what they've achieved, and the whole country can be proud too.

"To battle as they did for so long in front of the Dutch support shows immense character.

"It's heartbreaking to lose the way they did, but it was a true performance of English grit and determination."

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