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New chapter to be written by Pearce's history boys.

STUART PEARCE has urged his England Under-21s to create a new chapter of history when they face Germany in the European Championship final in Malmo tonight.

Germany will be wearing red at Swedbank Stadion despite being the "home" team, so there will be no flashbacks to England's finest hour when they wore their away strip for the 1966 World Cup final against their traditional rivals.

In any case, Pearce wants his youngsters to forget about past encounters against Germany.

"Any matches in the past are in the past," he said. "My only concern is this match.

"The only history we want to create is a victory for us. As for games gone by, they have no relevance." Pearce has also told his players that heroic failure counts for nothing.

Pearce has been part of several near-misses - losing as a player in semi-finals against Germany on penalties at Italia 90 and Euro 96 - and he is not satisfied by qualifying for this tournament and reaching the final.

The fact the final is against old rivals Germany adds to the pressure, with Pearce willing to settle for nothing less than victory..

"Success is not coming away as a gallant loser," he said. "We feel we have had no success yet. The only way we will deem to have success is if we win.

"Whoever goes away without the trophy will not think they have had a good tournament." Seniors boss Fabio Capello has been credited with creating a winning mentality in the past 18 months, a change from years of underachievement.

Pearce appeared intense and totally focused when he sat next to Horst Hrubesch at Swedbank Stadion, barely cracking a smile as he answered questions on the final.

It was not confirmed until later that Joe Hart's appeal against suspension had failed, with the goalkeeper joining Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell on the sidelines.

Agbonlahor and Campbell's bans mean Theo Walcott is set to start as Pearce's central striker despite feeling cramp in his calves after 120 minutes against Sweden on Friday.

"Theo has blistering pace and he causes teams problems," Pearce said.

"Pace in the modern day is a great commodity and he has that in abundance."

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2009
Words:371
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