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Pearce: FA's Respect campaign still alive and kicking

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce maintains the Football Association's Respect campaign is still very much alive. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was handed a four-match touchline ban, two suspended, and a fine for his comments about referee Alan Wiley.

The perceived leniency of the disciplinary action taken by an independent commission has been criticised by the referees' union, and also led to suggestions the FA's whole campaign to promote a better relationship between players, coaching staff on the touchline and officials was in tatters.

"I was brought up by Brian Clough, who did not overly criticise the referee," he said.

"I don't think I have done that over my time as a manager or a coach.

"I will endeavour to support the referee and the officials during every game we play. I feel that is what you have to do.

"Decisions rarely get changed, so just get on with it.

"I am more wrapped up in my team and the opposition, trying to win the game in that manner rather than waste my time really berating referees.

"I do not think there is much future in that.

"As an Under-21 manager, I am expected to lead by example.

"We have a Respect campaign going on, and obviously I try to support referees as much as I can.

"On occasions, as a club manager, I have gone to speak to referees, but I have done it in the right manner and I think they have respected that."

Pearce added: "In this country, it is like everything else, we are very boom and bust.

"Within a week, someone can go from a hero to a right zero - and that runs for the Respect campaign.

"It is important to look at over the whole season, rather than individual weeks or months.

"It is right and proper there should be a Respect campaign, we have to keep trying to champion that, to make sure the game is a better place to play your football.

"As far as I am concerned, the game does not work without the officials being there on match day, and we have to give them all the support we possibly can."

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