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England U21 boss Pearce delighted with 5-0 romp

England U21 boss Stuart Pearce was delighted with last night's 5-0 thumping of Slovakia in their warm-up clash ahead of the European Championships.

Pearce staged a spot-kick competition after his youngsters thrashed Slovakia at Carrow Road, their friendly warm-up before the finals in Holland next week.

The end-of-match penalties had no bearing on the result, with England winning 4-3 after Joe Hart saved two spot-kicks. Leighton Baines missed his but Mark Noble scored the winning penalty.

"When we went out to Spain on our training camp, in every session we've had a shoot-out, tonight was a great opportunity to do it in front of a crowd," said Pearce, who famously missed a penalty at the World Cup in 1990 before redeeming himself in style six years later at the European Championships on home soil.

"I've been to three championships and lost two on penalties, it might just be the thing that wins us the trophy."

Pearce has been looking at the penalty technique of his players and giving them feedback, hoping they will avoid the disappointment of losing twice in major tournaments.

"I don't know how it's done because I've got a reputation of missing. I'm pleased to see some of our players have a reputation of scoring," he added.

"It's important you don't let them take penalties willy-nilly, you've got to give them a chance to practice their best penalty.

"All of the squad have addressed it in the right manner, none of them have belittled it.

"I used to practice them when I took them for Nottingham Forest, what we didn't do was analyse them. That's what we are doing now, analysing it and looking for trends."

If the clash in Norwich was in the latter stages of a tournament, there would be no chance of penalties being needed, with England quick to assert themselves.

Kieran Richardson opened the scoring, ironically from the penalty spot, after Ashley Young was tripped in the area but despite looking in control, Pearce was not satisfied with his side's display in the first half.

He added: "I was disappointed at half-time, I don't think we took the game to them but it was much better in the second half. We got on the front foot and pressed them.

"They know full well they have to crank it up a couple of gears next week to be successful."

West Ham midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, who Aston Villa made a bid for earlier in the day, added the second with a deflected volley before Steven Taylor stabbed in a third.

Tom Huddlestone found the top corner for the fourth goal, with Leroy Lita adding a fifth.

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