England U21 boss Stuart Pearce was happy to name Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter in his squad for the first time.

"Grant's played in one or two positions for Sunderland this season and has done very well," Pearce said.

"I went into Sunderland a couple of weeks ago and watched them train, and also saw him play against Manchester City.

"He's playing regularly and getting Premier League experience, and I think he deserves his chance in the squad."

England will face Bulgaria at stadium:mk on November 16 and travel to Portugal the following Tuesday, by which time they could have virtually secured a place in the play-offs to reach the finals in Sweden.