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Clyne fighting for Euro place
9:05am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
Saints defender Nathaniel Clyne is hoping to strengthen his bid for a place in the England Under-21 squad that will compete in this summer’s European Championship.
Manager Stuart Pearce is preparing to name his 23-man party for the tournament, in Israel, but will first oversee friendly matches against Romania, this evening, and Austria, on Monday.
Clyne, a regular selection under Pearce since making his debut in November 2011, is among the squad.
The 21-year-old right-back has been a strong performer for Saints this season and appears on course to be selected for the Euros.
He has been part of an England defence that has not conceded a goal in more than 16 months, with clean sheets in their last seven matches.
Clyne will hope to confirm his seat on the plane with good displays at Wycombe tonight and Brighton next week.
England, who have been drawn in a group with Italy, Norway and hosts Israel, will be one of the favourites this summer.
Pearce revealed this week that he already knows the vast majority of his squad, but that there is still room for some people to force their way in.
“You have to bear in mind that we have been in a qualification process now for the best part of two years, so we know who has contributed really well for us,” he said.
“But the thing is, at under-21 level especially, people can come on the scene very late and I wouldn’t rule out anybody at this stage.
“It would be fair to say that if I had to jot 18, 19, 20 names down on a list that I hope will be there fitness-wise, we know those.
“But, as I have found out in previous years, there is always one or two people that come in very, very late – Leroy Lita in my first time out had a real late charge, got in the team and had a real impact, and various other players have done exactly the same.”