Pearce quiet on Thatcher

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Manchester City Stuart Pearce admitted Ben Thatcher's foul on Pedro Mendes was a foul.

Mendes was stretchered off with a serious head injury after appearing to be caught by Thatcher's forearm in a challenge five minutes into the second half of City's goalless draw with Portsmouth.

The challenge infuriated the Pompey players and coaching staff, with Mendes later suffering a fit from the incident.

Pearce opted not to offer an opinion on Thatcher's conduct, revealing the defender had inquired about Mendes's health after the game.

"I saw Ben running into the corner at 110 miles per hour," said Pearce.

"I want the players to play at a high tempo near the ball and it looks like the tackle was a bit mis-timed.

"I certainly hope it was an accident."

Pearce also revealed he had given skipper Sylvain Distin a deadline of until tomorrow to decide his future.

Distin is thinking over a move to Middlesbrough after City accepted a fee from the Riverside outfit.

Pearce is keen for Distin to make a decision, with the transfer window set to close next week.

"So far, Sylvain has not been able to agree personal terms with Middlesbrough," said Pearce.

"If the situation is still the same tomorrow evening, then he will not be leaving because I will physically not have enough time to bring someone else in.

"I have spoken to him about the situation and I believe he wants to stay with us."