(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has praised the efforts and attitude of Leeds defender Tom Lees, following Lees' international debut on Monday night in the Euro 2013 qualifier against Norway.
Pearce has admitted that Lees will be in contention for the European Championship next year, should England qualify, after watching Lees come on for the final 13 minutes. It was a new situation for Lees who was used in a holding midfield role despite being an out-and-out centre-back.
Lees impressed Pearce after coming on for Connor Wickham and helping England hold on to a vital 1-0 win. With regular football behind him Pearce believes he has a chance to feature again.
“The one thing Tom’s got compared to others in my squad is that he’s playing regularly for his club. Leeds have changed managers and he’s kept his position and he can also play right-back as well. When you’re looking at squads and tournaments, a player who can play in a couple of positions is a great benefit. The fact that we have options is great for us.
"We've been looking at Tom since the tail-end of last season when he was close to being in our squads. This season he’s started well again and we've had people watching the games when he’s played well.
“He’s come into the group and fitted in fantastically well. As a man he seems beyond his years. We have the impression he has leadership qualities and he seems a no-nonsense lad and no-nonsense player.”