Pompey defender reveals Stuart Pearce impact

Stuart Pearce in action for England
Stuart Pearce in action for England
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His CV means he commands instant respect.

A resume shows a career at the top of the game with 78 England caps spread across 12 proud years representing his country.

Christian Burgess helps Pompey to a clean sheet against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Joe Pepler

Christian Burgess helps Pompey to a clean sheet against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Joe Pepler

It’s been followed by a coaching and managerial career serving club and country – and a place in the nation’s bosom for his heart-on-sleeve attitude.

So, when Stuart Pearce speaks, you listen. A truth perfectly illustrated at Pompey’s training ground in recent weeks.

Kenny Jackett has recruited one of the most respected figures in the game to pass on advice to his developing young outfit.

And defender Christian Burgess is one of the main figures to benefit from Pearce’s defensive nous.

Burgess said: ‘He’s been really good.

‘He’s taken us for a couple of video sessions.

‘He watches and analyses the games. So it’s great to have his feedback and knowledge. He’s helped us with a few bits.

‘It’s good for us as a defensive until to have that experience and try to learn from him.

‘We want to build on the things he’s saying and implement them. That’s important.

‘He talks a lot of sense. Obviously he’s been there and done it at the highest level.

‘I think everyone listens and wants to take in as much as they can from him.

‘Clearly, it’s the manager’s influence. He’s not here because I called him!

‘I think he really enjoys it. He’s here to help the gaffer who’s his friend.

‘But I think he really enjoys putting sessions on.

‘The lads enjoy them, so it’s a great advantage to have.

‘He’s done a lot of back-four work. He’s coached England under-21s and was at Manchester City. He’s had some unbelievable jobs and coached top players.

‘You just want to learn as much as you can.’

Defensive mistakes contributed significantly to last weekend’s defeat at Scunthorpe.

That was followed with a clean sheet against Bristol Rovers, as a focus was placed on players having trust and confidence in their team-mates.

Burgess said: ‘We made a few too many mistakes at Scunthorpe and our positioning wasn’t the best.

‘But we really, really worked on it and Tuesday showed we realised those mistakes and implemented things better.

We made better decisions and trusted each other. That’s a key thing.

‘Trusting your right-back is going to cover you as a centre-half and things like that.

‘If we can keep building on those things, be organised and talk we will hopefully reach a more consistent level.

‘It’s difficult for everyone to gel. That’s why there haven’t been results straightaway and we haven’t taken off.

‘We’ve had good players come in but we’ve had a few injury problems.

‘As time goes on, though, there will be that understanding and trust.

‘It will come together a lot better.

‘It’s great to have someone like Stuart Pearce to help us on our way.’