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The Young Lions manager wants his side to play to their highest level against Norway as they look to prevent elimination from the tournament following defeat to Italy

England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce has challenged his players to "deliver a performance befitting of England" ahead of their crucial European Championship clash with Norway.

The Young Lions lost their opening fixture of the competition to Italy, meaning that they require a result against Norway on Saturday if they are to progress into the knockout stages.

Pearce, who earned 78 caps for England at senior level, now hopes that his players can overturn the disappointment of their previous result and deliver a performance to make the country proud.

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"We have got a strong squad of players that want to put things right," Pearce told reporters. "Talk is cheap but we have spoken a bit about what has come out of the [Italy] game. The important thing now for me is that the players to deliver a performance befitting of England.

"I think, if our performance is good, we'll win the game. I think we need to see a touch more energy and drive and a bit more confidence on the ball.”"

The 51-year-old's contract is set to expire next month, meaning that failure to qualify from the group stages could see his tenure come to an end, but the former Manchester City boss believes that his side have shown enough quality over recent months to progress in the competition.

"We've played some good football over the last few months, irrespective of our results," he continued. "We've had some good movement and interaction in the team.

"That didn't show itself against Italy but I certainly think it will against Norway. I think we just needed to show a bit more devilment and we had the ball we needed to show a bit more composure with our movement and our flair.

"We've got some good players in our team and too many of them didn't show that character but I'm confident they will."

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