Town target Jason Pearce ‘relieved’ to be staying at Portsmouth

JASON Pearce has spoken of his delight at remaining at Portsmouth – even if he thought be might be joining Ipswich.

The centre-back was Paul Jewell’s top target in the January transfer window but a bid for the player – believed to be the fourth made by Town – was turned down last night.

While Pompey accepted an offer from Ipswich for Joel Ward and Stephen Henderson, those moves breaking down over personal terms, it seems Pearce was the one player the South Coast club was desperate to hang on to.

And it seems the feeling was mutual with Pearce telling the Portsmouth News: “I didn’t want to go but I thought I may be forced out because of the club’s problems. Luckily, though, the club wanted to keep me.

“I have to admit, I thought there could have been a chance I could have been going. My head has been all over the place over the past couple of days.

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“All I have heard is they rejected bids from three or four different clubs. Ipswich were one of them. There were other clubs, but it doesn’t matter who they are.

“I didn’t want to leave. The manager made it very clear he didn’t want to let me go and I was keen to stay. I knew it might not have come down to my decision with the club needing funds. Thankfully, I’m still here, though, which is just what I wanted.”

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Despite basking in the 5-1 victory over table-topping West Ham, Town boss Paul Jewell is still expected to enter the loan market for another defender when it opens next week.

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