Stuart Pearce has been appointed one of England head coach Fabio Capello's assistants, the Football Association has announced. Former England defender Pearce will still remain coach of the U-21 side, but will also join up with the senior squad after Tuesday's match against Republic of Ireland in Southampton.

All of Capello's original backroom staff were, like the manager himself, Italian, but the new boss, who leads England into action for the first time a week on Wednesday against Switzerland at Wembley, has always insisted he wanted a homegrown coach working with him. Following the Switzerland match, Pearce will also be in Capello's backroom staff for the two end-of-season friendlies as the U-21s do not have a game.

Capello told the FA's official website on Wednesday: "From the start I made it clear to everyone that I wanted an English coach as part of my coaching team. I have spoken with Trevor Brooking (FA director of football development) and Stuart Pearce about this at length and I'm very happy that Stuart is working with me.

"This is very important as Stuart has a lot of experience and understanding of English football. He understands what I am looking to achieve and how I want to work.

"I believe it is crucial that both of us have a close working partnership to get the best for both the England team and U-21s. As well as being involved in all of the planning ahead of games, he will sit next to me on the bench during the matches and have a key position around the team."

'Fantastic opportunity'
"It will be a fantastic opportunity and a great education for me to work with Fabio Capello and the England senior team," Pearce said. "My main focus will still be on the Under-21s. We have an important qualifier on Tuesday and I will continue to be with that squad as we work towards reaching the Under-21 European Championship in 2009.

"Once Under-21 games have been played I'm looking forward to being involved with the senior team as much as possible and the friendlies at the end of the season will give me a great opportunity to work with Fabio and his coaching team."

Former West Ham United and England midfielder Brooking added: "Fabio Capello has always been keen to have an Englishman involved in his coaching staff.

"Stuart's experience of international football as a player and his success with the Under-21s makes him ideal for the role and will give him some useful exposure to the coaching set-up of the senior team."