Pearce dismayed by Terry 'witch hunt'

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England coach Stuart Pearce has backed John Terry's captaincy and hit out at the "witch hunt" surrounding the Chelsea skipper.

The 29-year-old has faced calls for his resignation as England captain following allegations that he had an affair with the ex-partner of former club-mate and fellow international Wayne Bridge.

But England Under-21 boss Pearce, who is also a coach with Fabio Capello's senior squad, believes Terry's footballing leadership qualities are second to none.

"Fabio will certainly be wanting to be a dominant voice," he told Sky Sports.

"I couldn't see anyone else going above Fabio and making statements or decisions in respect to who captains the side above Fabio, I can't see that happening.

"I think the last decision should always be the manager's decision on whatever goes on.

"The one thing I would say is John Terry is a fantastic captain, in footballing terms on and off the pitch I think he is a selfless professional and his form is fantastic for his country.

"So I'm not a big lover of witch hunts of people which I'm afraid our country tends to follow a little bit these days.

"The bottom line is John, his family and everyone concerned in the matter - it's a matter for those people and not the likes of other people who haven't got a vested interest in what goes on."