Pearce Decides Soon

Contrary to a report, Stuart Pearce has NOT yet made up his mind whether to carry on playing next season.

A claim that he has agreed a new deal is, he says, incorrect, and he explains: "I'll have a chat with Harry probably this week or maybe next but at the moment H has got other things on his mind; I'm desperate to get a point as much as he is.

"So sorting me out is a bit of an irrelevance at the moment; but something will be sorted before the season ends, one way or the other."

Only after consultation with Harry will he make his mind up whether to carry on playing next season, or look for a managerial or coaching post.

One report has linked him with the Crystal Palace job but no approach has been made.

Stuart has always said, though, that he would consider playing on if he felt he could do himself justice - and that, rather than any financial concerns, will be the basis of his discussion with Harry.

Stuart returned to action after a three match ban in the defeat at Manchester City and says: "It was a game of two halves really; they had more desire than us in the first half, won the 50/50s and scrapped for the ball.

"Their goal showed their desire to scrap and win possession of the ball; we are honest enough to hold our hands up to the fact that they had more of the play.

"At half time we realised things weren't right and came out in the second half and were a totally different team, created a host of chances, and how we never scored I don't know.

"But credit to Manchester City who threw everyone in front of the ball; we sat back and let people roll us over.

"In the second half we couldn't have done any worse than the first, and we showed a bit of desire to win the match.

"I don't think we deserved to lose it, we did everything bar score, Todorov had three or four chances, we had a couple cleared off the line, and the keeper made a couple of decent saves.

"I'm a long way away from the disallowed goal because I took the corner, but the goalie got involved in a melee and more often that not they are given for fouls on the goalkeeper.

"I had a corner that I think was just going to hit the cross bar but the keeper just tipped it over

"If we'd have gone in at 0-0 the chances are we'd have probably won the game but credit to them; it  was a funny old game, like a typical cup tie.

"Though I wouldn't put my house on them, letting us have that many chances, but you never know!"

Undoubtedly every gesture by Stuart  will be analysed on Saturday as fans look for clues as to his intentions for next season.

But the fact remains he will be concentrating on getting that all important point against Southampton, and he says: "They are an extremely well organized side who play five in midfield and four at the back, and they will make it difficult for us - but we should have the ability in the side to go and win a match."