Euro 2012 - Pearce denies dodging skipper issue

Tue, 28 Feb 12:15:00 2012

England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce has denied delaying the appointment of his captain to avoid awkward questions over recent events with the national side.

Stuart Pearce - 0

On Tuesday, Pearce was expected to confirm the identity of the man tasked with leading England in their friendly international against Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday night.

However, he instead revealed that - while he has chosen his team and captain for the fixture - he will only tell the England squad at 10am on Wednesday morning.

The appointment has much significance given that the previous holder of the armband, John Terry, was stripped of it at the start of the month.

Terry was removed from captaincy duties following confirmation that his trial for allegedly racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand had been pushed back until after the Euro 2012 finals.

Fabio Capello's anger at the FA's decision to demote Terry, and his subsequent reaction to the decision when he appeared on Italian television, resulted in the manager's resignation.

When asked if he had delayed confirmation of the skipper to shield the man in question from media scrutiny, Pearce instead stated he was sticking with a formula he has used in the past.

"No," Pearce said. "The reason was because I did the same at Manchester City, with the Under-21s and would do the same here.

"I haven't done it to cover or be evasive, it's the way I have always done it.

"The captain will be announced tomorrow when the team is announced tomorrow morning. It's a format that I have followed at club level and Under-21 level and I didn't see it necessary to change it at this moment in time.

"When I bear in mind it might be a one-off scenario, the captain has got to be somebody who is in the starting XI, somebody who's got the respect of the other players in my eyes and someone who is unselfish and puts the group above himself. That's a vital commodity as captain.

"There is no doubt there are several candidates, but I made my mind up a week or two weeks ago."

England go into the Netherlands fixture with a weakened attack having lost Wayne Rooney to illness and Darren Bent to a serious injury that could prevent him from appearing at Euro 2012.

Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Fraizer Campbell only have four substitute appearances between them but Pearce has no concerns over his options.

"I have got no doubts about these young men," Pearce said. "I have got confidence and that is the only thing that matters at this moment in time. I am happy."

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