New Pompey defender carved from same footballing stone as Terry

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The age gap is seven years, the birthplaces 31 miles apart and the division one step away.

But Steve Cotterill is convinced Jason Pearce is chiselled out of the same granite as his Chelsea hero John Terry.

Of course, it would be foolhardy to compare Pompey’s number five to the outstanding England international.

Nonetheless, there are characteristics of the Chelsea skipper in the footballing make-up of Pearce.

The 23-year-old may have turned out just twice so far for the Blues but already he has won the hearts of fans.

His rugged, no-nonsense approach and impressive leadership qualities suggest a bright Fratton Park future.

Early days these unquestionably are but Pearce appears to be another excellent Steve Cotterill signing.

He heads into Saturday’s Cardiff clash clutching clean sheets from his opening two matches.

And Pompey’s boss continues to be impressed with the former Bournemouth defender. He said: ‘I’ve heard some say Pearcey is a John Terry-type – you can’t get much higher praise than that.

‘What we have just got to do is work on him, make him better, but keep that raw aggression he’s got, which John Terry has done.

‘There will be times this season when he’ll make an honest mistake.

‘Without wishing anything like that on him, it will happen, like it does with all of us.

‘But he’s just a top lad, we couldn’t be any more pleased for him.

‘He has got his rewards. He stayed out for extra training and we put him in the other night against Reading. All credit to him, he’s come through.

‘You wouldn’t want to play against him, I am telling you. Not all the time, anyway.

‘You might get the better of him on a couple of occasions but he will get you in the end, like an alligator.

‘He’s definitely got that no-nonsense approach to him, he’s a tough boy.

‘Someone might give him one this season but good luck if you do.

‘You want to be substituted just after you have just given it him as I am pretty sure you’ll be getting one back.’

It had been an agonising wait for Pearce to get his Pompey opportunity.

That was spread over two spells, having initially left Fratton Park in August 2007.

Upon his return this summer, he had to serve out a three-match ban.

That was punishment for a straight red while representing Bournemouth in the League One play-off semi-final against Huddersfield last season.

Since that suspension ended he has gone straight into Cotterill’s side, partnering Greg Halford in the centre of defence.

And his manager believes Pearce is quickly making up for lost time.

He added: ‘Not playing for those three games really killed him, to be honest.

‘He has been chomping at the bit to be involved and now you can almost see there is a wry smile on his face because he knows he doesn’t have to sit more any out.

‘Pearcey is used to playing 40 games a season. The only reason he wouldn’t play 40 a season is he will either pick up a few bookings or will get sent off.

‘You can’t take his heart away from him because then he won’t be the player he is.

‘We’re hoping he will be another who will come along and make us younger.’