Micah Richards has backed Stuart Pearce to 'eventually' be the right man to manage England - but believes it would not be fair to give him the job too early.
Pearce has been at the helm of the England U21s since 2007 but was also placed in interim charge of the senior team following Fabio Capello's resignation in February.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp remains the overwhelming favourite to succeed the Italian as England's next permanent boss, but it is still unclear who will be taking the side to Euro 2012.
Manchester City defender Richards does not think Pearce should be expected to lead the country until he is ready.
"I do want to see Pearce there, but I don't want him to take it too soon and not be given a fair chance," said Richards, who worked under the manager at Eastlands.
"I'd rather him keep with the Under-21s and keep progressing there. Eventually he will be the right man for the job."