Cherries: Pearce played through pain barrier
STEVE Fletcher lavished praise on lionhearted Jason Pearce after revealing the Cherries skipper had played through the pain barrier to boost the club's play-off push. Ever present Pearce had not missed a minute of Cherries action this season prior to the epic semi-final, second leg clash at Huddersfield. His campaign ended in controversial fashion when he was dismissed for a tackle on Kevin Kilbane in extra-time. But Fletcher, Cherries' player-assistant manager, saluted Pearce's efforts and claimed others might have hobbled off with the injury the former Portsmouth trainee sustained at the Galpharm Stadium. Fletcher told the Echo: He got a big gash down his calf. It looked like someone had cut him open with a knife. But the measure of the man was proven because he didn't even bother with it. He didn't even take off his sock to have a look at it until we were back in the changing room. It was probably 10 times more than anybody else would need to come off the pitch but that is the character he is and why he is such a huge part of AFC Bournemouth. Fletcher added: He has been different class this season. He is a dream to work with on and off the pitch. For such a young lad to have such desire and professionalism at his age, it can only stand him in good stead for the future. I can't speak highly enough of him. The red card would have seen Pearce suspended for the Old Trafford play-off final but he is now likely to face a two-match ban at the start of next season.
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