Pearce Patient

Ian Pearce admits that it will be next season before he is at his best.

Ian, disappointed to be left out of the starting line up against Manchester United on Saturday after playing in the previous three games at right back since returning to action, made way for Sebastien Schemmel to drop to right back from right midfield and accommodate the return of  Steve Lomas and Michael Carrick.

He says:

"I am pleased to be back, but it will not be until next season, after preseason training, when I will be 100%."

Glenn Roeder has said repeatedly that Ian would have been integral to his plans had he been fit from the start of the season, and that his continuing knee problems were frustrating.

It is likely that when he is back to his best, he will ultimately add to the competition for a centre half spot rather than full back, though Glenn is grateful for his versatility.