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The former Under-21s manager singled out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones as examples of a culture of "apathy" but the national board is "disappointed" by his comments

Former England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce was "unfair" to criticise Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones, the FA has claimed.

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Dismissed from his post as manager of the Young Lions following defeats in all three of their group matches at Euro 2013, the 51-year-old hit out at high-profile withdrawals, citing a culture of "apathy" towards the youth sides for English youngsters once they had earned senior caps.

"The FA are disappointed with the comments of Stuart Pearce with regard to squad selection this summer," read a statement on the association's official website.

"Squads were selected for the summer tournaments and decided upon by the coaching staff, including Stuart Pearce. The players were then advised accordingly which squads they were in.

“It is unfair to criticise individual players.

"All selections were management decisions and were not taken by individual players."

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