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West Ham's Stuart Pearce
"When you put in a lot of hard work, it's nice to be rewarded"
 real 56k

Friday, 2 March, 2001, 14:18 GMT
Evergreen Pearce named top dog
Stuart Pearce
Pearce, 38, shows no sign of letting up
Stuart Pearce has been named the Carling player of the month for February - and has set a number of records in the process.

At 38, the evergreen West Ham defender is the oldest player to have received the honour.

He is also the first person to win both the player and manager awards, having claimed the latter when he was caretaker boss of Nottingham Forest in January 1997.

But, Pearce has revealed that he could bring an end to his playing days to concentrate on management.

I still try to let strikers know I am there - although nowadays I have to write them a letter!
  Stuart Pearce

"I would like to go back into management and it will be very soon if I get the option," said Pearce.

"I shall wait until the summer and then review my options.

"But I will not play and manage at the same time, that is too difficult. Next season I shall either play or manage - not both.

"I shall have my full coaching badge in the summer. I have got my 'B' licence and shall have my 'A' licence after I complete a two-week residential course in the summer."

Pearce added: "This award has come as quite a surprise.


"There is some fantastic talent in the Premiership and a lot of players playing extremely well, so it is pleasing to get any sort of recognition.

"I enjoy my football more than ever now because I realise it won't last for too long.

"I have to use my head more now because I have to get my positioning right, but the rest of it is the same - you have to play with passion and that hasn't changed in my game.

"I still try to let strikers know I am there - although nowadays I have to write them a letter!"

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is the Carling manager of the month, collecting the award for a record 12th time.

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