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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Pearce: I was Man City's 'nightwatchman'

Stuart Pearce believes he was nothing more than a 'nightwatchman' at Manchester City - and was always in danger of being sacked as manager.

The England Under-21s boss lost his job at Eastlands at the end of last season, only to see successor Sven-Goran Eriksson handed big money to spend by new owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

Pearce, City manager for two years, told Radio Five Live: 'I was probably the first footballing nightwatchman.

'I was sent into bat through the night until some money was available - I knew that when I took the club over.'

Pearce took over from Kevin Keegan in 2005, but his reign turned sour when the club failed to score a home goal after New Year's Day this year.

Eriksson has enjoyed a perfect start - winning both his opening Barclays Premier League games and yesterday overseeing the breaking of City's 227-day home scoring drought.

Pearce admitted results ultimately cost him his job.

He said: 'If you win more games you stay put in place; if you don't you pay the consequences. There's definitely a boredom threshold at any club now, and I paid the price.

'Whether I was there or if a new manager came in, there's no doubt new investment was needed.

'I've got a lot of time for the club and I'm pleased to see there's some financial input to help push them forward.'