Pearce backs Barton

21 March 2007 03:07
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce is confident that Joey Barton will bounce back and regain his place in the England squad. The City midfielder won his first cap in last month's friendly defeat to Spain but was left out of Steve McClaren's 23-man squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Andorra. Pearce does not think the omission will affect Barton though, telling the Manchester Evening News: "It will just increase his determination to enjoy the challenge of getting back in, and that can only be of benefit to Manchester City. "I've seen over the years of working with Joey that he's fairly unshakeable. Whatever comes his way, he just gets on with it and it doesn't diminish what he does on the football field. "It's a fantastic quality to have as a footballer. He has the mentality to roll up his sleeves. He feels he'll get back in sooner or later, which is another great personality trait to have. "The one thing that's driving him is the desire to get back in that England team. He thinks he's good enough to be in the squad, he did before the last one was picked. "He has that kind of confidence in his own ability, whether England are naming a 28-man squad, a 22-man squad or a three-man squad - Joey believes that he should be in it and involved."

Source: ESA