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England U21 boss Pearce delighted with Bulgaria success

England U21 boss Stuart Pearce was delighted after last night's victory over Bulgaria in their Euro2009 qualifier.

Tom Huddlestone and Mark Noble scored the goals in soggy Sofia, with Pearce likening the brutal thunderstorms to the summer floods near his Wiltshire home.

"It was tough conditions and credit goes to the players," said Pearce. "We can play better than that but sometimes when you come to places like this it is about character over performances."

Pearce's side built on Friday's opening Group Three win, in Montenegro, to put themselves in command heading into their block of another four games before the end of November.

"It was two difficult trips to Eastern Europe. The whole squad should be pleased with the eight days we were together," he added.

"They were new to each other and the conditions here were atrocious."

Huddlestone, returning from suspension, opened the scoring in the 25th minute after clipping Noble's cross home first time from around 25 yards.

It was a strike his Tottenham team-mate Dimitar Berbatov, who was watching in the stands, would have been proud of although it skidded through Liverpool goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov.

Mihaylov, whose father Borislav is a Reading cult hero, was beaten again seven minutes later when Matt Derbyshire fed Noble, who danced around the goalkeeper and finished for his first Under-21 goal.

"Our aim was to get on the plane with six points out of six," Pearce added.

"We knew it would be difficult and the pointer to how well we've done will be dictated by how well the Portuguese and Irish do in these two venues."

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