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Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 16:24 UK

Pearce hails Bristol City support


Interview: England under-21 manager Stuart Pearce

England under-21 manager Stuart Pearce says Bristol City have a good chance of establishing themselves in the Premier League if they win the play-off final.

Pearce told BBC Points West: "The South West has not got a top flight side so the catchment area's fantastic.

"I played against Bristol City in a League Cup semi-final some years ago and they brought about 5,000 supporters to the City Ground in Nottingham."

"I think they'll do themselves credit if they do go up."

Pearce has been impressed this season by the managerial feats of both City's Gary Johnson and Phil Brown, his counterpart at Hull City.

"They're one of the sides that weren't particularly fancied at the start of the season," he said. "And now they've got a 50/50 chance of getting into the Premier League.


"You could say the same about Hull as well, not particularly fancied, not one of the first sides that will come off your tongue when you're talking about promotion candidates but the two sides who have been consistently good performers."

The former Nottingham Forest and England captain, no stranger to big occasions at Wembley, says that this year's Championship play-off final is too close to call.

"It's who handles the occasion the best on the day," he said. "I wouldn't like to say to be quite honest.

"I think whichever team gets up deserves to get up, and both managers have done a fantastic job for their teams this year."

see also
Lansdown 'fed up' with money talk
15 May 08 |  Bristol City
Johnson ecstatic after Robins win
13 May 08 |  Championship
Bristol C 2-1 C Palace (agg 4-2)
13 May 08 |  Championship
Fans can shout us home - Johnson
13 May 08 |  Bristol City

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