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Make-or-break for John

Posted on 1 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

John Piercy has made a lightning start to what could be a make-or-break season. The youngster is in the final year of his current contract and knows he has to perform well or face the threat of being shown the door at the Lane.

Piercy broke into first-team plans almost a year ago. Facing a striker crisis, manager George Graham put his faith in Piercy and he responded by hitting the woodwork in an excellent debut against Crewe in the Worthington Cup. He went on to make three Premiership appearances but faded away when, by his own admission, he suffered a dip in confidence and form.

He has bounced back this summer and with six goals already from a more familiar role down the right-hand side, has arguably been the star of the show for the reserves so far. "It's all about consistency," said the 20-year-old. "I've managed that in pre-season and if I can continue and keep scoring goals I'll have a chance.

"I know I only have a year left on my contract and I have to perform or it could be no-go. I don't mind that pressure though.

"At the start of the season my target was to break back into the first team. It was a little frustrating to lose my place in the squad last year but I have to look at myself and ask if I did enough to stay in. This season, if I can keep it going and score a few goals, hopefully I'll be asking the questions."

Reserve team manager Chris Hughton has been impressed with Piercy's progress but added: "He's got to keep it going, be more consistent and if he gets the chance to join the first-team squad, take his chance and stay in there.

"There is no doubt that he's good enough and the fact that he's already been in the squad and played for the first team underlines that. He already has that experience and there are no questions about his ability - he just has to be more consistent."