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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Michael Mancienne lauds Pearce influence

Michael Mancienne has highlighted his work with Stuart Pearce as a crucial factor in his shock England call-up for Wednesday's friendly against Germany.

The Chelsea defender has played two seasons at QPR and is now on loan to Wolves and boss Pearce has made him central to his England Under-21 plans.

Mancienne, 20, said: "Stuart Pearce is easy to talk to and understanding.

"He always gives an honest opinion. If he sees something not right, he'll talk to me and correct me."

Pearce has also been credited with easing Theo Walcott into the national team after blooding him with the under-21s - and Mancienne feels the Arsenal teenager is setting an example to other hopefuls.

"We've been wanting to do well for the manager," said the centre-back.

"Theo getting in was a real morale boost, seeing youngsters getting drafted in to the senior squad. He's got the world at his feet. He can go on and do massive things because he has frightening pace, agility, and everything else.

"It was always good playing with Theo because he brings a lot of the team.

"You've seen his confidence go through the roof since his hat-trick [against Croatia]. That is what he needed and now he'll go on."

Mancienne was on the bench for Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari earlier in the season but he feels his football development has come from his time on loan.

"It is good to be involved at such a massive club [Chelsea]," he added. "I haven't really been there for two years because of loans but it was good to be back.

"I grew as a footballer when I was on loan and developed an understanding of the game. I've been in relegation battles and my experiences have improved me."

Born in Isleworth, in the western suburbs of London, Mancienne was spotted by Chelsea scouts as an eight-year-old playing for Kingstonian, and debuted for the Blues reserves while still at school.

He signed his first professional contract in January 2006.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy said Mancienne was ready for senior international football.

Speaking hours before his call-up to Fabio Capello's squad, he said: "Under the natural progression, Michael has played regularly for the under-21s, so this is the next step.

"The England coaches must watch him every game and must like what they see - and I think he is ready."

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