Date:Monday February 5 2007
Man City boss Stuart Pearce has heaped praise on Reading striker Leroy Lita after his brace sunk City in Manchester on Saturday.
Pearce explained how he had watched Reading top goal scorer in action during his Bristol days:
'I watched Lita four times when he was at Bristol City, I thought he had something but I wasn't sure whether he was good enough to step up to this level. I know now he is good enough. He is a real handful."
Pearce now knows that Leroy has got what it takes to make it in the Prem after his duo of goals and another legitimate goal that was ruled offside:
'If you give him an inch, he will score. The mark of a striker is he has got in and scored his goals. He was probably the difference between the sides.'
Pearce and Lita have now met up as Pearce begins his new secondary job as England-u21 coach and manager.
One of Pearce`s first acts in his new job was to call the Reading striker up to the England-u21 squad, and considering Leroy`s recent form, it wouldn`t surprise me if the forward starts and makes his mark in the team:
'It is nice he will have a bit of confidence when we meet up tomorrow evening," Pearce pondered but he joke, "I might leave him out on Tuesday now.'
Lita has scored 13 goals in all tournaments now this season, and this is after a spell on the sidelines in the earlier part of the season. Lita got his first team league place back for the Boxing Day match against Chelsea, and since that game he has found the net 9 times in 9 appearances, a pretty healthy ratio!
Meanwhile Reading`s other star striker; Kevin Doyle narrowly missed out on Eircom/FAI International Player of the award. Doyle was pipped to the plaudit by Newcastle goalkeeper, Shay Given.
Doyle was on hand to receive a reward however; he picked up the Irish Young Player of The Year award for the outstanding performances which helped Reading to the Premiership and helped maintain their place thereafter.
Doyle, though was voted the Young Player of the Year following an outstanding 2006 for the Royals, and in particular, helping them to promotion to the Premiership.
Doyle has bagged 10 goals in the Premiership and clinched his first for his nation last November in the 5-0 drubbing of San Marino.
Doyle has not featured in the Reading line-up for sometime due to a hamstring injury but he hopes to back in two weeks time, meaning he will also miss Ireland`s European qualifier against San Marino on Wednesday.
But putting his recent trouble aside Doyle reminisced on his 2006: "I never expected it. It was great. Hopefully 2007 will be just as good for me."
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