Stuart Pearce will be back at Nottingham Forest as manager next season, and has told fans that what he achieved at the club as a player is irrelevant.
The City Ground faithful will no doubt be delighted to welcome back one of the greatest players ever to wear the red shirt, after the 51-year-old agreed to succeed the sacked Billy Davies from 1 July onwards. Gary Brazil will continue in charge for the remainder of the season, which could yet end in a playoff place in the Championship.
Pearce was a hugely popular figure at Forest during his time as a player, making 532 appearances for the club between 1985 and 1997. The tough-tackling left fullback, who won 78 international caps for England, helped the Reds win the League Cup twice under Brian Clough, but he insists his playing career is now irrelevant in regards to his new role.
“What I did as a player is totally irrelevant,” he said. “I want to play a good brand of football and improve the players here. In the meantime I will be finalising my backroom team and I will obviously look at watching the team. I will have a set of eyes at every match and I will watch all the games on DVD. It would need to be seen if it is prudent for me to be at games as Gary Brazil will not want any interference from an incoming manager.”
Pearce initially rejected the job last week for personal reasons, but the club’s owner, Fawaz al-Hasawi, was so intent on appointing him that a further round of talks were held this week when a number of compromises were reached. This allows the former Manchester City coach to maintain his current commitments and those he has scheduled for the summer, and is also presents him with more time to prepare for the challenges ahead.
“I wouldn’t call it a u-turn,” Pearce added. “We had discussions last week. At the time I suggested I had so much on in terms of a personal nature and from commercial aspects with work commitments. Fawaz then asked me to take charge in the summer and everything seems right. This club probably has more of a pull than any club in the country.
“The pride and passion comes way before financial gain. I’ve represented five professional clubs and I would like to think I’ve given good service. The honour of coming back into this club is massive. By the time I’ve finished with management if ever I felt I had the opportunity to become manager here and turned it down, I would not be fulfilled.”