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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 10:37 GMT
Pearce plays down England rumours
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce
Pearce won 78 England caps
Stuart Pearce has dismissed speculation linking him with the England job.

Head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson will step down after the World Cup and the Football Association has held talks with Charlton manager Alan Curbishley.

"England is not a distraction for me, I don't take a great deal of interest in it," said Manchester City boss Pearce.

"The only time England gets mentioned is when I walk into a press conference and get asked the same questions week after week."

FA chief executive Brian Barwick met Curbishley on Friday as the search to find Eriksson's successor moved up a gear.

Eriksson is set to stand down after this summer's World Cup finals and the FA is keen to decide on his replacement before the showpiece tournament starts on 9 June.

The Sun has alleged that Pearce, Bolton's Sam Allardyce and Middlesbrough's Steve McClaren have also already held discussions with the FA.

"If I was or wasn't interviewed, I wouldn't tell anyone," added 43-year-old Pearce.

"I'm sure the FA would want some form of discretion from whoever they speak to.

"And I'm sure they didn't want Alan Curbishley to be photographed. All that matters is they pick the right man for the job."

Curbishley, 48, was disappointed that details of his meeting with Barwick leaked out and that photographs were published in a Sunday newspaper.

He stated: "The meeting was arranged at the request of the FA to discuss the vacancy for the job of England manager. I attended the meeting with the full knowledge and approval of my chairman Richard Murray.

I am on no list, I do not think at the moment, and I think they will be setting about speaking to some more people. They might not get caught, they might but how else do you do it?
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley

"The FA and I will now be considering our respective positions and any further statements will be made as and when appropriate, whether they relate to further discussions or my withdrawal from the process.

"I am totally committed to Charlton Athletic Football Club."

Curbishley also insisted that the talks did not amount to what he would call an interview and he certainly does not expect to be the last manager to be spoken to about the role with the national team.

He added: "I am not the first person - and am definitely not going to be the last. I was just the one who got caught.

"For me, it was an opportunity to see the face behind the name and for them to see me but it was all very informal.

"I am on no list, I do not think at the moment, and I think they will be setting about speaking to some more people. They might not get caught, they might but how else do you do it?"

Darren Bent believes it would be sad for Charlton if Curbishley were to become England's next boss - but says the players would still back him.

England striker Bent, 22, said: "It would be a great loss to Charlton if he did go but it is England and it is a massive opportunity.

"Whatever he does decide to do we will be behind him 100%."

Newspaper reports suggest that up to 10 managers may be interviewed by the FA.

Former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill and Guus Hiddink, who coaches both Australia and PSV Eindhoven, have also been linked to the England position.


SEE ALSO
FA not close to naming new boss
12 Mar 06 |  Internationals
Curbishley cool on England link
12 Mar 06 |  Premiership


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