Pearce relaxed about England

  • Last Updated: September 6 2012, 7:44 BST

Stuart Pearce has played down his continued exclusion from England's senior set-up under Roy Hodgson.

Stuart Pearce: No concerns entering last 12 months of contract

Pearce lost his position as assistant manager upon Hodgson's appointment at the end of last season, ostensibly to allow him to focus on his role with the under-21s and as head coach of Great Britain's Olympic side.

In the interim, Hodgson appointed Ray Lewington and Gary Neville, and there has been no way back for Pearce since the Olympics ended.

But the man many felt had been groomed to become England manager one day - and who took temporary charge when Fabio Capello resigned in February - was relaxed about his current situation.

"Roy came to a couple of the games in the Olympics," he told the Daily Mail.

"We have had a bit of dinner a couple of times to talk about the individuals I think will be helpful to him and the fixtures I feel where we will need to be strong.

"We have not spent a deal of time together but that is not through not wanting to.

"It has just been the fact we have been involved with two different tournaments."

Pearce also had no concerns about entering the final 12 months of his contract for the second time in two years.

The former England left-back, who has been in charge of the under-21s since 2007, insisted his focus was on securing a play-off spot for next summer's European Championship.

The Young Lions play Azerbaijan in Baku this afternoon, knowing victory would put them on the brink of winning Group Eight ahead of Monday's final qualifier against Norway.

Pearce, who only signed his current two-year contract after last year's finals, said: "I will just wait for the tournament to finish to speak with my employers to say, 'What do you think?' what I think, and [decide] are we both happy with how things are going.

"If they are not happy with me, they will come and see me and we will get something organised accordingly."

That conversation could well be brought forward if the under-21s come unstuck in the next five days.

That is unlikely on Thursday against an Azerbaijan side they thrashed 6-0 in the reverse fixture, even though the match in Baku is due to be played on an artificial pitch.

A win would leave them needing only a draw against Norway on Monday to reach the play-offs but Pearce was taking no chances on Wednesday night, calling up Norwich striker Harry Kane for the match.

The on-loan Tottenham player, who has represented his country at under-17 and under-19 level, will join up with the rest of the squad at Chesterfield on Monday.