Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pearce Explains That Mad James Moment

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Pearce Explains That Mad James Moment

Article excerpt

STUART Pearce has opened up on the moment he decided to play former England goalkeeper David James up front in a bid to secure European football for City.

In 2005 the Blues needed to beat Middlesbrough at home to qualify for the UEFA Cup. The game was level at 1-1 heading into the final stages and then boss Pearce went ahead with a wild plan he had cooked up the night before.

He pushed James up front for the last few minutes, leaving striker Jon Macken on bench. It almost worked, as City won a late penalty, which Robbie Fowler missed.

"I was sat at home the night before thinking I've got to win the game. I was thinking about what I could do if the match was a stalemate late on," Pearce revealed. "I thought to myself 'I'll put James up front'. I had that up my sleeve. Jon Macken (who was on the bench) was not scoring and playing well by the way. …

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