Pearce to fight back after early exit

PUBLISHED: 10:44 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:27 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Defender Alex Pearce can expect further opportunities to impress City boss Glenn Roeder - despite being substituted in the 1-1 draw at Watford.

The 19-year-old centre-half was replaced by Jason Shackell after an hour of Tuesday's Championship match at Vicarage Road when Roeder decided he needed extra experience in the face of the Hornets' aerial bombardment.

Defender Alex Pearce can expect further opportunities to impress City boss Glenn Roeder - despite being substituted in the 1-1 draw at Watford.

The 19-year-old centre-half was replaced by Jason Shackell after an hour of Tuesday's Championship match at Vicarage Road when Roeder decided he needed extra experience in the face of the Hornets' aerial bombardment.

But Roeder said Pearce, who has played the last three league games since signing on loan from Reading, was a fast learner.

“He's fine, he's gaining a lot of experience here, playing in the Championship,” said the City boss after the Watford match.

“He had a fantastic debut against Barnsley, it didn't go so well for him on Saturday. He had another opportunity tonight, where generally speaking he did well. I just thought in the end Darius Henderson was at times showing Alex's inexperience, but he will learn.

“And I have not worked with such a good character as Alex Pearce. I can see why Steve Coppell is not interested in selling him. He wants him back.

“He's a wonderful character and it won't do him any harm coming off. He'll fight back. I just wanted to put Shackell on, who's got as little bit more experience.”

Roeder admitted that Shackell had been disappointed not to be recalled after the 2-1 defeat by Blackpool, and the former skipper's performance in the final half-hour at Watford will give his manager another selection poser for Saturday's trip to Coventry.

Spanish full-back Juan Velasco also earned praised after playing his first 90 minutes for City when he was preferred to Jon Otsemobor.

“I thought the longer the game went, the better he did,” said Roeder. “He hasn't played for eight or nine months. I wasn't sure he could get through the 90 minutes and probably for the last 10, 15 minutes he was playing on an empty tank, but using his experience.”

Velasco, 30, capped five times by Spain, has signed for City until the end of the season.

“He just said to me that in La Liga, he hadn't come across a team like Watford before but he enjoyed the experience. In his broken English, I think that's what he meant,” said Roeder.

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