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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 29, 2006

Pearce bets his shirt on Richards

Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce has praised Micah Richards for his mature response to his recent shirt-throwing escapade at Reading.

The England Under-21 international has enjoyed a stellar start to his career and already appears certain to follow Shaun Wright-Phillips as the next Blues academy graduate to win full international honours.

Aside from a series of eye-catching performances in an unaccustomed right-back role, Richards also appears to be showing an encouraging desire to learn from his mistakes.

The teenager, who signed a four-year contract with the Eastlands outfit last season amid rumours of interest from Tottenham, was quick to apologise to Pearce after ripping his shirt off in disgust at being substituted at Reading earlier this month.

And his displays since that frustrating day at the Madejski Stadium suggest Richards will not blow up in similar fashion again.

'I have a lot of faith in Micah,' said Pearce.

'He has only just turned 18 and has not even played 20 Premiership games yet but you can already see he has a bright future.

'Yes, he did lose his head at Reading but he has apologised for that. The one thing you know is that he has matured as a result of what happened that night. He knows he should not do it again and that will stand him in good stead for the future.

'He has a good mentality and a family which is a driving him in the right direction.

'We feel we are giving him every opportunity to flourish as an individual and hope he will have a long career with us.'

With no end in sight to the cash problems created by the free-spending Kevin Keegan era, Pearce knows City must continue to bring through their own players if they are to hold their own in the top flight.

Six members of the squad to face Everton tomorrow have come through the Blues academy, while others, notably Wright-Phillips, half-brother Bradley, Lee Croft and Willo Flood, have brought in much-needed funds by moving elsewhere over the past year.

'Clubs need to be built on a good foundation,' said Pearce.

'For me, the academy is building block number one. On top of that, you need the fan base, the ground and the training facilities. We have all those things.

'What we do not have is a massive pot of money to splash out on players, which is why it is key for us that building block number one is in place to bring players through the system.'

Pearce is expected to deploy a five-man midfield at Everton as City look to end an horrific run of 10 defeats in their last 11 away games.

Georgios Samaras could lose his place despite his two-goal display against West Ham last weekend, with Bernardo Corradi favoured to operate as a lone striker as City look to record their first win at Goodison Park since 1992.

Everton are still unbeaten this season, a surprise to many given the low expectations that surrounded David Moyes' men in the summer, although not, it seems to Pearce.

'I have a lot of respect for David,' he said.

'When I go watching matches, he is one of the faces I see most regularly.

'He is extremely well organised and has been about the game long enough now. He knows his profession very well and has been very cute with the players he has brought to the club, so to see Everton where they are is no surprise to me.'

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