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Pearce under pressure?

The bookies certainly think so anyway.

William Hill have shortened the odds on Stuart Pearce being fthe first Premiership manager o be fired this season to just 3/1 following the poor start to the season after Glenn Roeder's odds were lengthened over the weekend.

There are more than a few of you out there who are now beginning to voice the opinion that Pearce is not the right man for the job and are of the feeling that time is beginning to run out and he doesn't have many games left to halt the slide seen since the end of last season.

In fact, take away the excellent start when he took over as caretaker manager and the bonus of last seasons hot start and his record has been a little shaky. In his fifty games in charge of the club, over half (26) have ended in defeat and this includes the shocking return from away games during this calendar year. This has also been coupled with an air of apathy that has begun to engulf the terraces since the latter part of last season as fans begin to realise that a ceiling has perhaps been reached athe club both on and off the pitch with the current powers in charge.

Since taking over from Kevin Keegan he has definitely put his stamp on the side and personnel wise half of the side that lined up against Blackburn were brought in (either from the youth team or via transfer) since Keegan departed and there has also been numerous departures (some admittedlty not entirely of Pearce's own choice). Added to this is the revamping of the backroom staff - most notably the departure of Arthur Cox and the arrival (and increasing role) of Steve Wigley.

At the time of Pearce's arrival I wasn't convinced he was the right man for the job as there potentially better and more experienced candidates out there. Whether or not he is under pressure from the board is not something that is known at this point, but at this stage I don't believe that he is. He appears to have a good working relationship with the board and is not over demanding in the way that Keegan was which led to the split and the ousting of David Bernstein.
Would the board sack him? Not at this stage no. But losing Premiership status (or merely the threat of it ) is catastrophic in this day and age and should we get to the Christmas period in or around the relegation zone then there may be some twitchy trigger fingers developing in the club hierarchy. Added to the fact is the clause in his contract which apparantly means Pearce or the club can terminate the contract with no compensation required. Given our history of paying former managers that is something that may appeal when coming to a decison.

But the board know it isn't an easy job. His hands have been relatively tied by the lack of funds available - although he hasn't exactly been forced to raid the piggy bank, he has done a good job in easing the talented crop of youngsters into the senior set up and he appears to be a popular figure at all levels of the club.

I don't believe that there would be a shortage of candidates to take on the job though - whether or not money is available as undoubtedly the job does hold prestige and there cannot be many more bigger challenges to be the one to 'get it right' at City.

Despite being the new favourite for the axe, for me Pearce still has plenty of room to manouvere without the need to look over his shoulder but he as much as anyone else will be aware it is a business where you live and die by your results and ultimately if he doesn't deliver there will only be one outcome.