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Psycho deperate to beat The Cottagers

last updated Friday 28th April 2006, 11:15 AM
Stuart Pearce
Stuart Pearce

CITY players will go into the game with Fulham bearing both brickbats and bouquets from their boss Stuart Pearce.

The Blues' boss credits them for working extra hard to snap their six-game losing spree but is still annoyed that they wasted a great chance to qualify for Europe this season.

And he hopes to ease that disappointment by climbing back up the Premiership table in the final fortnight - something that may also help his transfer kitty.

The City chief spent some time with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh being briefed on the club's financial situation last week and now understands the budgets for next season.

They are believed to have been based on a 12th place finish in the table.

Anything below that, eats into the figures at the rate of around £500,000 per rung and would also gobble up a big per centage the additional revenue made from a widely televised run to the last eight of the FA Cup.

"It would be to my benefit if we got up the league, the club has budgeted to finish in a certain position and we are below that at the moment," revealed the manager.

"We got some reward at Villa Park in midweek for the hard work that we have put in.


"They have stuck in and grafted well but it is important for us to finish with a four game unbeaten run and if you are asking if I am disappointed with our current league position I would say `yes.'

"We need to be more resilient and we have lost too many games. In the summer I will sit down with the staff and see where we think we can improve.

"I felt we could have done better and my personality is such that I would have felt that wherever we ended up in the table.

"All managers are the same, I bet Jose Mourinho is sat now thinking he could have done better too.

"There is not really a sense that the table is not telling the truth because you finish where you finish. It is not fortune that puts Chelsea on top of the pile and Sunderland are relegated. There are too many games for that to be the case.

"We were at a crossroads when we played West Ham in the FA Cup quarter-final, they have gone on to the final and up the league and we ended up on the other path and taken a knock in confidence. Hopefully that self-belief will be back now that we have won a match."

Pearce is desperately seeking a triumphant end to the campaign not just for his own satisfaction but also to put a smile on the faces of fans that he says have been as helpful as they could have been.

"I have mixed with a lot of supporters clubs during the bad run and I have had nothing but positive backing from them," he went on.

"They have been magnificent and they deserve a boost."

The manager could start with the same team that ended the 1-0 win at Villa Park in midweek but must wait for late tests on both Joey Barton (knee) and Albert Riera (cramp).

David James has had a stiff back but has declared himself fit and all three are expected to play.

Pearce's big decision will be who he features alongside Darius Vassell in attack. Georgios Samaras started at Villa but was replaced by Antoine Sibierski in the second 45 minutes.

Source Chris Bailey at The Manchester Evening News
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