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The Force not with Rennes vs. PSG

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

Pearce backs Richards over Hillsborough handbags

Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce insists Micah Richards is not hot-headed.

Richards was fortunate not to be dismissed by referee Graham Poll during Sunday's 1-1 FA Cup third-round draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

The 18-year-old was involved in an incident with Owls midfielder and former City player Glenn Whelan midway through the first half.

Richards threw Whelan to the ground after being provoked but was only cautioned, which led to Pearce urging the youngster to cool it.

'He is not a hot-head, he is a very sensible, calm lad,' insisted Pearce.

Explaining his soothing words to Richards, Pearce added: 'Whenever you get a player booked it's my job to diffuse the situation and make sure they concentrate on their job.'