Pearce's frustration comes as Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker was promoted for England's clash with Montenegro, but was left in the stands.
"It's part of my job to help as many of my young players as possible to get through to the seniors," Pearce said.
"There has to be that progression route and I'm pleased with that. But what we also have to make sure is when they do get elevated they have to play. If they don't play, what's the point?
"It's important we have an overview of these young players and have a plan for them."
The England Under-21 team face a Euro 2013 qualifier in Norway tonight (Monday).