LEIGHTON BAINES believes Jack Rodwell will flourish this summer under the guidance of England under-21s boss Stuart Pearce.
Rodwell is in line to start alongside Liverpool new-boy Jordan Henderson in the heart of England’s midfield against Spain tomorrow, as the Three Lions begin their European Championship campaign in Denmark.
Baines, who has fond memories of his own involvement in the tournament, said: “Going to Holland and playing in the European Championship was definitely the best part of the two or three years I’d spent with the under-21s.
“I suppose it’s the same when you go away for a tournament with the seniors. You can get your teeth into it, there are games every few days and you really feel a part of something.
“We played against some really good teams as well. We were eventually beaten on penalties by Holland and that was the only disappointment of what was a great experience.
“I pulled my hamstring towards the end of the first half and had to come off at half-time. But I would have stepped up to take one of the penalties. Steven Taylor could barely walk and he was trying to get up there and take them as well.
“He lost the limp a bit when he scored during his celebration as the Holland manager had made a big deal about making him take one, even though he was injured.I can remember when Stuart Pearce first took over and everyone was slightly in awe of him. But he is a really top manager and was great with all the lads. He does things naturally, he was a massive help.
“He’s doing a great job with the Seniors now as he does with the under-21s.We’ve got Jack Rodwell at Everton and we spoken about the under-21s. Having been before he knows it’s the best experience you can have. Jack is really keen to go again and is looking forward to being a part of it”