Smalling Wins Pearce Praise

Last updated : 17 November 2009 By Dominic Hurst


The 19-year-old played a major part in defence when England beat Portugal on Saturday, fuelling speculation that he will continue in the role when England take on Lithuania in Vilnius.

Pearce sang the praises of Smalling, saying: "Chris has impressed me everyday in training and have been saying for the last two or three matches that I have to get him a game.

"Maybe he was fortunate that James Tomkins was out injured, but he certainly took his chance."

Pearce added: "Next he has to break into the Fulham side.

"To be fair with Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes, they have got two very sturdy central defenders.

"But all the experience we can give him will help him as a player.

"He will improve, there is no doubt in my mind about that, because when you tell him to do things, he takes them on board and does them.

"Chris is a very bright kid, listens and that gives you something to work with."