The stand-in boss named uncapped Sunderland forward Fraizer Campbell ahead of the Reds No. 9 but says it has nothing to do with him missing last summer's European U21 ChampionshipEngland caretaker manager Stuart Pearce has hit back at claims he has a problem with Andy Carroll after he omitted the Liverpool striker from his squad.
Pearce named uncapped Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell ahead of 23-year-old Carroll for England’s friendly against the Netherlands on Wednesday.
The 49-year-old, who has managed the under-21 squad since 2007, has refuted suggestions he overlooked Carroll because he missed last summer’s European under-21 Championship, in which England were knocked out at the group stage.
Pearce told The Mirror: “That was an irrelevance. Andy Carroll was injured last summer, that’s why he couldn’t participate in the under-21s. That was the only reason in respect of that.
“It’s been reported that I had a problem with Andy which is so far from the truth it’s incredible. I picked this squad solely on the form of the other four that I put in front of him against anything he’s doing at the moment."
Carroll has struggled for goals since his high-profile £35 million move to Liverpool, but he has netted six times this term and has being showing signs of returning to the form that bought him a move to Anfield.
Pearce added: “I just feel with Andy at the moment is rediscovering some form. I feel as though the individuals we’ve put in before him are slightly ahead of him at this moment in time.”
How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.