Pearce fears losing Richards

Pearce said: “If there is an extremely good young player at any club outside the top four he is going to create interest.

“We look at players all over the country and all over the world and anyone who is doing well creates interest from us so we have got to expect that to happen with one of our young players who is doing well.

“We’re not actively looking to sell Micah. I like him as a player, I’ve backed him from the time he was a 17-year-old and we think he has got a bright future at this club, but it does concern me [that he could get his head turned].

“I don’t think what has allegedly been said [on Tuesday] will affect him long-term. It did on the night, but he will not go under because of it. If anything it will make him stronger.”