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England opt not to renew Pearce's U21 contract

The Football Association said "it is time to change coach" after deciding not to offer out-of-contract Stuart Pearce a new deal in the wake of England's poor showing in Israel.

Stuart Pearce's tenure as England U21 manager lasted six years
Stuart Pearce's tenure as England U21 manager lasted six years ©Getty Images

The English Football Association (FA) has confirmed it will not be renewing Stuart Pearce's contract as England Under-21 manager, bringing to an end his six-year reign.

The news comes after the former England left-back presided over a disappointing 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship campaign in Israel, where his team finished bottom of Group A without a point and with just one goal, a penalty, to their name.

The competition was Pearce's fourth continental finals at the helm. In 2009, England reached the showpiece match itself, losing 4-0 to Germany in Malmo; they had been beaten 13-12 by hosts the Netherlands in an epic last-four penalty shoot-out two years earlier. Pearce's side fell at the group stage in the 2011 edition in Denmark.

In a statement, FA chairman David Bernstein said: "I'd like to thank Stuart Pearce for his hard work. Nobody can doubt his commitment to the job throughout his time as U21 coach. He has done extremely well in qualifying for finals tournaments, but after the disappointment of the past two tournaments, we believe it is time to change coach."

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