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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 1, 2008

Pearce backs Becks to fight for century

Stuart Pearce believes David Beckham will fight 'tooth and nail' to win his 100th cap, after being left out of the England squad to face Switzerland next week. New England boss Fabio Capello has told the 32-year-old midfielder he will pick only players who are match fit. Pearce, the England under-21s manager who has also been called in by Capello to be part of his set-up, said: 'He's picked a squad that doesn't involve one individual. That individual has to fight tooth and nail to get back in that squad. 'I'm sure David has enough about him - he's shown it in the past - that he'll fight to try to win that next cap, no matter what number it is. 'He's been a fantastic servant to this country, and to achieve 99 caps is fantastic. It's probably not wise to get caught up in the emotion of 100 caps - for him it's a fantastic milestone if he achieves it. 'The one thing he will do is roll his sleeves up and do everything in his power to get back in the England squad and get back on the pitch again.' Capello insists he has not closed the door on Beckham, who was informed of the decision in a telephone call from the manager on Wednesday night. Capello said: 'I know there has been a lot of discussion about David Beckham. The reason that David is not in the squad is because he has not had any real match practice since playing in November. 'When I spoke with David on the phone yesterday I advised him that he is still part of my plans - and once he is playing regularly in America, we will look closely at him again.'

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