Manchester City defender Micah Richards believes Stuart Pearce will "eventually'' be the right man to manage England - but fears now would be the wrong time.
Under-21 boss Pearce is currently in interim charge of the senior national 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 in charge of the team for Euro 2012.
Richards, who played under Pearce at Eastlands, said in quotes reported by several national newspapers: "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.
"I'd rather him keep with the Under-21s and keep progressing there. Eventually he will be the right man for the job.''