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Pearce urges Chris Smalling to stay just the same

last updated Wednesday 21st April 2010, 8:06 AM
Fulham defender Chris Smalling
Fulham defender
Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling
England U21 coach Stuart Pearce has urged Chris Smalling not to let his approaching move to Manchester United change his personality.

The 20 year-old defender moved from Maidstone United to Fulham in 2008, and signed for the Old Trafford club in January 2010.

Pearce told BBC Radio Kent:"The main thing is for Chris to remain the same lad he was at Maidstone United.

"I've worked with him in the under-21s and he's level-headed and intelligent.

"The important thing for him now is to take the opportunity he's been given."

Pearce was in Kent leading a workshop for 70 local coaches, arranged by the county's FA at Dartford's Princes Park Stadium.

It is believed Manchester United paid Fulham £7m for Smalling when they signed him on a four year contract.

"Chris came on to the radar when he signed for Fulham, but now he's gone to Manchester United even more will be expected from him," said Pearce.

"He'll still have his talent, he just needs to fulfil the expectation of him."

Smalling was immediately loaned back to Fulham after the deal was signed with Manchester United.

He has played in the Europa League for the West London Club, and made his Premier League debut against Chelsea in December 2009.

Source BBCSport
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