Fowler gives Pearce dilemma

Last updated : 12 January 2006 By Ben Collins
Fowler has presented Pearce with a major problem ahead of the weekend visit of United - and the City boss could not be more pleased.

Fowler marked his first start of the season by netting a hat-trick in the Blues’ FA Cup triumph over Scunthorpe last weekend.

But with Andy Cole, Darius Vassell and Antoine Sibierski all available, Pearce could yet put Fowler back on the bench or out of his 16-man squad altogether.

“When someone comes back after a long period of injury, makes one of his first starts of the season and scores a hat-trick, that presents you with a good problem,” Pearce told the Press Association.

“I did not want Robbie to fail on Saturday and he certainly could not have done any more. The more problems I have like that, the better it will be.”

David Sommeil and Ben Thatcher are suspended while City have lost Claudio Reyna and Danny Mills to long-term injuries.

International clearance has now been received for loan signing Albert Riera, although it remains to be seen whether the Spaniard will be handed his debut in such a big game.

Kiki Musampa has recovered from an ankle injury but may also be restricted to a place on the bench.