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Chesterfield 2 City 1

Well, what can you say?

Even given our patchy form this season, and our habitual capitulation against lower lague sides, most of us expected to still go through last night (although maybe not as comfortable as my 3-0 prediction).

Yet once again we are out at the first stage of a competition which offers both the best chance of silverware and the most realistic avenue into European football. All this from a game in which taking the lead shortly before half time should have ensured that we came out for the second half and put the game beyond doubt.

Once Chesterfield pulled it back to 1-1 though, there was a great worry that they would add a second - and when it came I never expected us to get back into the game and force extra time, let along go on and win the game.

There appears to be real lack of belief in the side in games such as this, and looking at the substitutions made it was more of a case of 'let's see what happens' as opposed to any real tactical thought. Worryingly there also are rumours circulating round that Pearce has lost the dressing room and that Joey Barton didn't endear himself to Pearce or the crowd (again) last night.

Despite more opinions (some on this site) that it is time for Pearce to go, I think that it would be a premature move at this stage and he deserves more time to get his best side out on the pitch as we have not been blessed with too much luck on the injury front.

It certainly doesn't appear that Pearce will resign - given his bullish post-game comments, but the real worry is is that once the media get hold of something they will run with it until they move onto another target. This invariably results in a snowball effect that the more the media will focus on the issue, the more it is out in the public domain and the more the weight of opinion against Pearce will grow and it seems that Alan Curbishley has always been touted as a possible replacement. It also has ends up being a negatitive side-show over everything that goes on at the club on a day to day basis

The only way to remove the issue and prevent it from being a cloud that hangs over the club is to win games and begin to climb the table. However, recent form in no way suggests that this is in any way likely meaning it will be difficult for Pearce and the club to properly focus on on field matters.

It is fast becoming an issue though that needs to be resolved.