Butland hopes Pearce stays on
Jack Butland wants Stuart Pearce to stay on as England Under-21s manager after a tournament that has left the players feeling "embarrassed".
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Having arrived in Israel on a run of nine successive wins without conceding, the European Championship has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for the Young Lions.
England head home having failed to collect a point from a group including Italy, Norway and Israel, leaving Pearce's job at the Under-21s helm looking more precarious than ever.
The former international full-back's contract expires at the end of the month and, despite the farce in Israel, Butland hopes he is given an extended stay.
"It says it all how we got here, the way we played, the structure and organisation we had," the Stoke goalkeeper said after yesterday's 1-0 defeat to Israel.
"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."
The inquest into England's failings is already well under way and will likely continue for some time to come.
For Butland, though, he is at a loss as to why the Young Lions failed so miserably.
"We are embarrassed, we haven't done ourselves justice," he said.
"We are a lot better than this but we can't keep saying this. We haven't proved it and we can only wonder why.
"We wanted this. It is difficult to understand what went wrong.
"We just seemed flat and not ourselves, which is difficult to understand. I don't know."
The whys and wherefores may be difficult to pin down, but Butland, eligible for the next qualifying campaign, believes the disappointment will benefit England moving forward.
"Personally, I think I will learn more from this experience than had we done a lot better and maybe even gone onto win the tournament," he said.
"For me, after a very long season and last year, it is definitely about time management, managing my time and making sure I am mentally set.
"That is something that I have learned and I am sure there will be a lot to learn from the other lads' point of view, too.
"In the future, people will be able to look back at this and know what has gone wrong and from learn from it."