Pearce picks out positives

Last updated : 25 July 2005 By Ben Collins

Despite the incident that saw midfielder Joey Barton sent home early, Pearce felt he learnt a lot from the games against Bolton and Everton, which both finished 1-1.

"It has been a very positive week in spite of the one incident," he told the City website. "I've given established players the chance to get some game minutes under their belts.

"Ben Thatcher and Trevor Sinclair both performed really well, and also it's given the opportunity for some of the younger players to play on the biggest stage so far in their careers.

"Micah Richards also played really well, he played in two different positions and showed his versatility."

An added bonus for Pearce was the goal-scoring debut of Andy Cole, whose recent arrival at City has had its critics, but the former Man United striker, 33, netted after 24 minutes on Saturday.

"The same questions were asked about me when I joined the club," added Pearce. "I was 39 years of age, people questioned what I had to offer. In 2 or 3 years' time, when Andrew leaves the club, he will show what he's worth."

Everton's James Beattie equalised from the spot in the second half after Sylvain Distin had blocked his header with an arm and the game again went to penalties.

A Bradley Wright-Phillips miss handed Bolton a shoot-out victory on Wednesday but on Saturday he converted while David James saved three Everton spot-kicks to give City third place in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

A late El-Hadji Diouf penalty meant Bolton beat Thailand's Under-23s 1-0 to lift the trophy.