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Pearce backs Micah stay
14 Nov 2006 - 08:35:55
Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce is confident of warding off any interest in promising defender Micah Richards, who won an England call-up last week.
The 18-year-old right-back is likely to make his international debut against the Netherlands this week, with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United thought to be tracking the teenage ace.
However, Pearce told the Manchester Evening News: "Micah knows that he doesn't have to be with one of the really big boys.
"Playing his football with Manchester City is a fantastic way of getting into an England squad. That gives the whole club a lift.
"It is to be expected that some of the bigger clubs will take a look.
"Then it all comes down to asking: is Micah enjoying his football here? And the answer is yes. Is he improving game by game? Again yes. Is he getting coached well to help him improve? Yes.
"I think he will be a centre-half eventually. The rate of improvement we have seen from him since the reserve team games this time last season has been outstanding. I still think there is a lot more to come.
"He can be cuter with his passing and his positional play can be better, but he wants to improve and has a great work ethic about him."
Meanwhile, French midfielder Ousmane Dabo is poised for a return to training after missing more than two months due to a knee injury.