Richards backing for Pearce

Stuart Pearce is in charge of Great Britain's Olympic football team

Stuart Pearce is in charge of Great Britain's Olympic football team

First published in National Sport © by

Micah Richards is certain Great Britain Olympic boss Stuart Pearce will get to manage England full-time one-day.

Pearce took over for the friendly defeat by Holland in February, immediately after Fabio Capello had quit. At the time, it seemed Pearce was a live contender to remain in charge for Euro 2012, a situation that did not really change until the beginning of May when Roy Hodgson was offered the job.

"Stuart is not afraid to do his own thing," said Richards. "He changed a lot of faces for the Holland game. Then here a lot of people were talking about David Beckham, but he's gone with what he thought would be right for the team. That's a sign of a good manager, and I do believe in the future he will get the England job."

Since Hodgson took the job, it seemed Pearce was being frozen out, even to the extent of making his own way to Ukraine to watch the Three Lions in action. Richards has more reason than most to hope that is not the case.

After all, it was Pearce who showed faith in the 24-year-old for club and country, but the Manchester City man admits Pearce's time has not yet come.

"I said back in February I didn't want him to get it too soon because I didn't want people to crucify him early, but as he gets more and more experience I think he'll definitely get the job," he added,

Richards might need him to if he is ever to do himself justice at international level.

The City defender earned just one cap during Capello's four years in charge and failed to make Roy Hodgson's squad either, a refusal to accept a position as a standby player coming back to haunt him as both Phil Jagielka and Martin Kelly were called up due to injuries.

"Out of all the mangers I've played for, he's had the most belief in me," said Richards. "Stuart gave me my debut at City, played me for England Under-21s and made me captain, then when he got the job for the seniors against Holland he played me at right back. Now he's picked me for Team GB.

"It would be nice to repay the faith he has shown in me."

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