Goalkeeper says it is the players who are to blame, not the coach.
England Under-21 international keeper Jack Butland has said that he and his team-mates are “embarrassed” about their limp exit from the European Championship in Israel, reports BBC Sport Online.
The U21s were dumped out of the tournament on Tuesday after losing 1-0 to hosts Israel, the team’s third straight loss in as many group phase fixtures, meaning that Stuart Pearce’s men left the competition with no wins, no points and just the one goal, which was scored from the penalty spot.
However, the Stoke City shot stopper has since come out to defend their head coach, who is under huge pressure to keep his job after his side’s showing in the past week, with the 20-year-old saying that it is him and his fellow team-mates who should be shouldering all of the responsibility for their displays rather than Pearce.
“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,” said Butland, who has been capped on 11 occasions by the U21s since making his international bow in 2011.
“He works extremely hard. I really do hope he stays.
“We are embarrassed, we haven’t done ourselves justice. 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.”