Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Friday March 16 2007
Stuart Pearce goes into this weekend's fixture at Middlesbrough knowing that nothing but a win will save his job.
Despite an improved performance at home to Chelsea, City still didn't manage to get a shot on target until the 94th minute. It is this frugality in front of goal and the manager's obsession with avoiding defeat first that is likely to cost Pearce his job.
Even victory at Middlesbrough may not be enough. City boards are notorious for sacking managers once they have lost the crowd.
There is little evidence to suggest that Pearce holds the support of the majority of supporters and with an international break following the Boro game it is likely to be seen as an ideal time to make changes.
Press speculation as to Pearce's successor is rife with the latest front runner supposedly being Fulham's Chris Coleman.
Sam Allardyce, Paul Jewell and Paul Simpson have all been mentioned and it is to Alardyce's and Jewell's credit they have reacted angrily to speculation linking them with another man's job.
There is also gossip of short term roles for either Peter Reid or Glenn Hoddle but I get the impression that this was fuelled more by their appearance in Manchester for the Sky coverage of Wednesday's game rather than any concrete news.
Regardless of the speculation it does now appear as though Saturday's game could be Pearce's last.
However if he were to survive the season it is thought that he will leave by mutual consent to take up the England U21 role he is so passionate about.
The knives are certainly being sharpened.
Date:Friday March 16 2007
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