Richards praises Team GB boss Pearce

Team GB line upMicah Richards has stated that Team GB boss Stuart Pearce has united the squad and is a key reason the side are through to the knockout stages of the Olympics.

The hosts are undefeated as yet and topped Group A after two wins and a draw.

The Manchester City defender has praised the England under-21 coach, and feels that Pearce has brought the players together.

“I have always liked him since we were at Manchester City. He really knows how to fire up the boys in the changing room,” The Telegraph quote Richards as saying.

“He tells the boys how good they are. He gives so much confidence to the boys. We are fighting for each other. We have a great team spirit. It’s given us a freedom to play our football.

Richards has been frozen out of the senior England set-up by both Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson, but the versatile defender has reiterated his desire to play for the Three Lions.

“Whether I get picked for the next game [against Italy on Aug 15], it’s not up to me. All I can do is keep knocking on the door. I will never turn my back on England.

“A lot of people asked me why I didn’t go on standby. It was nothing to do with I didn’t want to play for England. I wanted to play. Stuart has given me that chance,” he concluded.

Team GB take on South Korea in the quarter-finals on Saturday in Cardiff.

By Gareth McKnight