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Pearce predicts Micah recall
20 Aug 2008 - 07:50:41
England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has backed Micah Richards to win back his place in the senior side following the Manchester City defender's performance against Slovenia on Tuesday night.
Richards, 20, scored England's opening goal as the under-21 side secured a 2-1 friendly victory at Hull City's KC Stadium.
Elsewhere, the City defender was a strong presence in the home defence and Pearce believes Richards will soon be back in the full England squad.
Richards has won 11 full caps to date and could be recalled by coach Fabio Capello for next month's World Cup qualifiers with Andorra and Croatia.
"The thing that impressed me the most over the past couple of days is Micah's attitude which has been great," said Pearce.
"There has been speculation that when players drop down they won't be motivated to play for the under-21s, but that has not been the case with Micah at all.
"Players have to be able to step up and step down - they do it abroad and we have to get into that mentality of doing it here.
"That will serve Micah in good stead. He can't be in the wilderness of not being in the seniors and not be in the under-21s and be in between the two squads.
"This is what we are trying to build towards - players coming to the under-21 side and seeing it as a pathway back to the senior squad.
"If they do well here and do well for their club as he has done, then they will get their chance.
"Fabio will have watched the game tonight and I'll speak with him tomorrow and tell him who I thought did well - and I thought Micah played very well tonight."