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First Team News

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Pearce demands winning home start

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Stuart Pearce is demanding that City get their home Premier League campaign off to a winning start.

The Blues face Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth tonight on the back of their 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, but the Manager has called for his side to turn things around in front of their own fans.


Said Pearce: "Let’s roll the clock back to the last two seasons. We played at home first game at the start of the last two seasons and drew against Fulham and drew against West Brom.


"Now we considered that two points dropped with only picking up a point in each game. Looking back to Chelsea, everyone would have taken a point on Sunday, so basically against the last couple of years we’ve only missed out on a point. Also we’ve got one of the toughest, if not the toughest game of the season out of the way.


"It's important that we make sure our home form is decent this year because that is the building block of a good season if you pick up points at home."


A feature of last season's home games was visiting sides sitting back, making life difficult for City then hitting on the break. Pearce expects similar this term, starting tonight.


"People do their homework in football these days, in fact Portsmouth sat back a bit at home last Saturday, let alone away, so I can't see that being any different at our place."


Wednesday's visitors boast new signings in former City keeper David James and Sol Campbell in their ranks, although other threatened forays into the transfer market have not happened as the Manager points out.


"At the moment it is all talk. There’s talk of multi-million pound signings coming in every day in the newspaper and it’s not materialised. There’s been offers for certain players and the money’s not been forthcoming either. That’s for them to conduct their business so fine. We’ve done it a slightly different way and actually signed players.


"They have a couple of new faces in, one of whom we know very well. They'll be lifted by a good result last Saturday, Steve Wigley went to watch them and said they played very well, coupled with the fact that Blackburn did not.


"It will be a tough game, but it's one that we have got to go out and try to win."

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Didi Hamann and Andreas Isaksson will resume training today as Stuart Pearce continues his preparations for Wednesday's game against Portsmouth.