sport

Pearce puts his faith in UEFA

Stuart Pearce believes the ugly scenes that marred the end of England U21's clash in Serbia last month have galvanised his squad.

Trouble flared at the end of the Euro 2013 play-off second leg in Krusevac on 16 October after Connor Wickham's stoppage-time goal sent the visitors into next summer's tournament.

Missiles were thrown and some fans got on to the pitch, while there were clashes involving players and staff from both teams, all against a background of racial abuse from the stands towards the England players.

UEFA charged both the Serbian and English football associations and their disciplinary board will meet on 22 November to discuss the case.

Meanwhile, the FA are still communicating with the Serbian authorities over reports criminal charges had been laid against defenders Steven Caulker and Tom Lees, plus coach Steve Wigley.

However, despite the incidents and subsequent fall-out, Pearce still managed to find a positive viewpoint.

"Going back to our dressing room after that second leg, I was immensely proud of the way we didn't react under provocation, both staff and players," Pearce said.

"I knew full well at that stage that it would galvanise this group and team even more.

"For me, you have to try to draw positives out of a really negative situation, and I think we will and we have. They are little markers which make us stronger as a group.

"I trust UEFA to make the right and proper decision on what they have seen - on video evidence and with their assessor having being at the game, what he heard and saw.

"Whatever my internal thoughts are is a little bit irrelevant. We will know soon how UEFA are going to address this."