Pearce tells Team GB youngsters to follow Giggs and Bellamy example

The boss has urged Great Britian to be professional when they take on Uruguay, with a quarter-final place up for grabs, and look for inspiration from the experienced duo

Team GB head coach Stuart Pearce has called on the younger members of his Olympics squad to follow the example set by over-age members Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy.

The host nation are vying for a quarter-final spot after defeating the United Arab Emirates 3-1 at Wembley on Sunday and drawing with Senegal in their tournament opener.

Veterans Ryan Giggs and Bellamy have made the scoresheet in the competition already – with the latter also receiving two standing ovations - and Pearce has hailed their impact at the Games.

“Craig Bellamy is as good a professional on the training pitch as I’ve worked with — and Ryan is a similar ilk," Pearce told The Sun.

“They are great role models to the younger players. If they are unsure how to conduct themselves as professionals, recovering from matches, stretches, doing the rehab, I tell them to look at these two.

“With them you get the whole package. They get picked for what they can do ability-wise and that was the first port of call when I spoke to those two individuals.

“From there, I wouldn’t say we have been surprised — their response was just what we expected. The professionalism of both is incredible.”

Despite being full of praise for the pair, Pearce does not feel their age and time in the game makes them crave success more than the rest of the squad and believes the whole side is very professional.

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He continued: “But I wouldn’t say their age makes them any hungrier for success than the rest.

“It’s impossible to have one-size-fits-all sweeping statements like that. We have top professionals throughout this squad.

“Since my playing days, professionalism has gone through the roof. Players know how to look after themselves.

“There is a lot more sports science to the game but, yes, there is still hunger too — and that remains very important.”

Pearce has also been wary of talking up Great Britain’s chances of advancing in the tournament – despite just a point needed against Uruguay to confirm a quarter-final berth at the expense of the South Americans.

“You underestimate teams at your peril,” he added.

“Uruguay are still in the mix, so are we and Senegal. It’s all to play for.”

The clash will be held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff - with a sell-out crowd of 69,000 expect to be in attendance - and Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge is looking forward to the occasion.

“I spoke to Bellers [Bellamy] and he said the Cardiff crowd is unbelievable. They’ll be behind us 100 per cent,” he enthused.

“I’ve never played before at the Millennium Stadium so to get to play in front of the Welsh fans will be fantastic.

“To be part of Team GB is amazing and to have two experienced players like Ryan and Craig giving me advice has been great.”