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JOL ON PEARCE

Posted on 10 January 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol is looking forward to locking managerial horns again with his former team-mate Stuart Pearce at Manchester City tonight.

Martin Jol is looking forward to locking managerial horns again with his former team-mate Stuart Pearce at Manchester City tonight.

The pair were together at Coventry City in 1984-85 in what turned out to be Martin's last season in England following three years at West Brom.

Pearce was snapped up by the Sky Blues as a 21-year-old from non-league Wealdstone in 1983 and joined Martin in departing Highfield Road at the end of the 1984-85 season - he went on to build a reputation as one of the best left-backs in Europe in a 12-year spell at Forest that saw him capped 78 times by England.

"He was a young left-back when I joined Coventry from West Brom and we were good mates," recalled Martin.

"I rate him. He' s very honest and not an artificial type of person, how you see him is exactly how he is and he's a positive addition to the Premiership.

He's a real guy and I like him very much. He was one of the players I liked most

After further playing spells at Newcastle, West Ham and Manchester City, Pearce moved from coach to City boss at the end of last season - coincidently, his first game in charge was against us at the Lane in April.

A 2-1 defeat that day was City's only loss in Pearce's eight games last season as, like us, City just missed out on a European spot.

They are now very much in the running again and go into tonight's clash ninth in the Premiership.

"City are a very good team," added Martin. "At the back they look solid, they are consistent, Barton is flying and is one of the best midfielders in his age group, Sibierski is dangerous in the air and they have Vassell and Cole up front, so they are capable of scoring goals.

"They are contenders for European football as they proved last season. It's a very difficult game and hopefully we can get a good result because these games are important."