Cherries: Pearce targets promotion roll of honour

22 April 2010 07:00
SUPERSTITIOUS Jason Pearce is hoping for fond memories of Saturday, the Thirteenth.

Pearce will lead Cherries for the 13th time since being appointed team captain as Eddie Howe's men look to realise their promotion dream at Burton Albion.

Victory would see the combative defender become only the fifth man to skipper Cherries to promotion and the youngest since they joined the Football League in 1923.

A sharp suit and a deafening iPod have apparently been among Pearce's lucky charms.

I don't really have any superstitions! laughed the 22-year-old before he promptly revealed two. But, when we win a home game, I always wear the same suit to the next game and we've only lost once since we started using my iPod!

Pearce hopes the dulcet tones of Robin S's Show Me Love, their chosen pre-match motivational tune, will again spur Cherries to victory when they face the Brewers at the Pirelli Stadium.

We're within touching distance and it would be great to finish the job on Saturday, said Pearce, who is looking to follow in the footsteps of Keith Miller, John Impey, Mark Newson and Carl Fletcher. But we know we've got to keep our feet on the ground.

We've got some great characters in the dressing room and everyone has got that goal. We know what we want and we have just got to keep focused.

Since being handed the armband in January, Pearce has skippered Cherries to six wins and three draws in his 12 games. A broken toe kept him out for six other matches.

I've relished it, said Pearce. I was really disappointed when I broke my toe because I didn't know if I would get back playing again this season. Fortunately, I'm getting through games and I would love to top it off by leading us to promotion.

One of the more vocal members of Howe's squad, Pearce lists unity, spirit and desire as key ingredients to Cherries' bid for honours this season.

We're a very close-knit bunch, he added. If there is ever a bit of bickering on the pitch, it's only because people know we can do better. We tell each other. We're not going to get better as a team or improve if people don't tell other people what they think. I think it's only a good thing. We all know what we want to achieve and that's what we're aiming for.

With his former club Portsmouth starting to blood youngsters in the Premier League, Pearce could have tasted top-flight action had he opted to remain at Fratton Park three years ago.

But while some of his old pals may get a chance to line up in the FA Cup final on May 15, Pearce is hoping to have his feet up watching the Wembley showpiece while Cherries' rivals slug out the semi-finals of the League Two play-offs.

He said: I saw Joel Ward and Matt Ritchie play for Pompey the other night and it did cross my mind that it could have been me.

But I made my decision to come here and I'm glad I did. I think it was the right decision. I am at a successful club and we are going forward. We've got a good, young squad and we're heading in the right direction.

Born in December 1987, Pearce would eclipse Fletcher as the youngest player to skipper Cherries to promotion should they prevail this season. Fletcher (2003) and Miller (1971) were both 23, while Newson (1987) was 26 and Impey (1982) the eldest at 27.

Source: Bournemouth_Echo