Pearce: England U21s can lift Man City

England U21 boss Stuart Pearce has told Mark Hughes that his English youngsters can drag the team out of their disappointing start to the season.

Former City boss Pearce, sacked in May 2007, knows Michael Johnson, Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha well from his time there.

"They are mentally strong enough to deal with any problems," said England Under-21 manager Pearce, of the trio who are in his squad for tonight's friendly against Slovenia in Hull.