Big night for youngsters

Stuart Pearce has three West Ham United starlets to choose from for this evening's UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier against FYR Macedonia in Coventry.

The former Hammers defender is expected to name James Tomkins at the heart of his defence, while Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines have been working hard in training to win a place further forward. The match at Coventry's Ricoh Arena is the third in the campaign to reach Denmark in summer 2011 after a 2-1 win in FYR Macedonia and 1-1 draw in Greece last month.

Speaking to, Pearce said he had a good relationship with club managers when it came to selecting his squad. Indeed, he has been a recent visitor to Chadwell Heath to chat with Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke about the club's talented youngsters. 

"I'll pick the team on Friday," he said. "I think the club managers realise I do look after their players. If ever a player isn't right or isn't fit, they've never been wheeled out on a football pitch, never. I always look after them because there's other players coming behind them who are fully fit and want to play.

"But doing that I have to make sure we are competitive. My main driver is to get this team to the Championship and give them that experience again. My job is to please the public of England with results and performances and hopefully get players through this squad and into the Seniors.

"I don't see any reason why one or two from this squad couldn't break through to the seniors. It's happened quite regularly over the last couple of years and I see that continuing."

Tickets for the game are on sale through the Coventry City box office priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Call 0871 220 0260 or buy online by clicking here.