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Pearson Future with United


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My future is with United

Mar 23 2007

By Alan Oliver, The Evening Chronicle


Nigel Pearson becomes the first manager to lead out a team at the new Wembley tomorrow - but the Newcastle United No 2 insists he does not want the job on a full-time basis.


Glenn Roeder's assistant finds himself in charge against their Italian counterparts because regular England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce has found himself under pressure at Manchester City after a string of poor results in the Premiership.


And there is talk that because Pearson is so highly rated by the Football Association, after his previous employment at Soho Square, that the United No 2 would be asked to take over as England Under-21 manager on a full-time basis should Pearce stand down.


But Pearson said today: "That is something that is not, at this moment in time, on the radar for me. I am in full- time employment at Newcastle United and I am enjoying that job."


Some Manchester City fans have voiced their opposition to Pearce taking charge of the England Under-21 side when things are not going very well at the City of Manchester stadium.


But there have been no such problems for Pearson who adds: "Newcastle United have been very supportive of me working for England. Glenn Roeder said straight away that as long as the chairman was happy, which he was, there were no problems at all and I have had the full support of my club which is great."


Both Roeder and Freddy Shepherd know that it could be in United's interests to have a man working at any level with England because more often than not a bond is formed with players.


Roeder himself has admitted that he has watched West Brom's England Under-21 international Curtis Davies, who would have been playing under Pearson tomorrow had he not broken his foot.


Someone who is playing under his United boss tomorrow is James Milner who will be hoping that Seppi Rossi, with whom he formed a friendship when the Manchester United striker was on loan at St James' Park, will be in the Italian squad.


Looking at the fact he is going to be one of the first players to turn out at the new Wembley tomorrow, Milner said: "The size and the quality of the stadium is fantastic and it's been well thought out.


"The fans at the old Wembley were a long way from the pitch, but this is closer, which should keep the atmosphere.


"Obviously, it's a great honour to be in involved in it all. It's a massive game for us and we have to make sure we don't lose."


United's squad has deteriorated in the past few years, but they still have nine players away on international duty in the next five days - including Kieron Dyer and Scott Parker in the full England squad in Israel.


And there would have been more had Michael Owen Stephen Carr and Celestine Babayaro not been injured.


But Owen has still not given up on being fit before the end of the season as he recovers from his knee injury.


He said today: "I think it will still be couple of weeks before I can join in the training.


"But I'm kicking and running straight as hard as I like and then it's twisting and turning."

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