Boss ready for Euro challenge

Last updated : 14 May 2005 By Ben Collins

City were 12th, 7 points off 7th-placed Charlton after defeat at Spurs in his first game in charge, but a 7-game unbeaten run has put City within touching distance of the final UEFA Cup spot going into the final game of the season.

The criteria for City to seal a return to Europe is simple - beat Middlesbrough, who occupy 7th, and hope Spurs don't beat Blackburn by more than 2.

"I am aware of the history and tradition of the club and of the great fan base," the new boss told the City website.

"My single biggest challenge now is to prepare the side for the final game of the season against Middlesbrough. We have a chance to extend our unbeaten game to 8 matches and, of course, grab that final place in Europe.

"I never dreamt that we could be chasing a UEFA Cup place when I took over in March. But that is the reality and the chance is there now on my first matchday as the new manager.

"It is a fantastic challenge and a great club one that I am looking forward to."

Pearce also praised the fans who have cheered the Blues on during the run-in.

"The support we have received in our last 2 away games has been nothing short of astounding with more than 10,000 fans travelling to Blackburn and Aston Villa," he says in tomorrow's programme.

"The commitment shown to this club is quite simply staggering and I thank you all for that."

Let's keep it up tomorrow too!!!.......Come on you Blues!!!!