Butland hopes Pearce remains as England Under-21 manager

The Stoke goalkeeper is keen for the ex-England international to extend his spell in charge of the Young Lions, and believes the players are the ones to blame for their early exit
Jack Butland hopes Stuart Pearce remains manager of the England Under-21s despite the Young Lions' early exit from the European Championships in Israel.

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Pearce's side lost all three of their group matches against Italy, Norway and Israel - scoring just once in the process - prompting speculation that Pearce could depart as manager when his contract expires at the end of the month.

However, Stoke goalkeeper Butland has insisted the players should take the blame for England’s poor showing at the tournament, not Pearce, and has backed him to remain in the role.

"It says it all how we got here, the way we played, the structure and organisation we had," Butland told Sky Sports.

"There is no-one else to blame [but the players]. It is the same group of players - it us that have not performed.

"For a legend of the game like Stuart Pearce, it is difficult to apologise, but there is no-one else to blame but the players. We were on the pitch, I hope he stays in the job.

“He works extremely hard and does everything necessary to make sure we are successful and gives us all the right tools. I really do hope he stays."