Stuart Pearce has decided against making an emotional return to Nottingham Forest, who had lined him up to succeed the sacked Billy Davies.
Having fallen out of the top-six, the Reds took the decision to axe the Scottish coach earlier this week despite him signing a new four-year contract towards the end of last year. The 5-0 drubbing by rivals Derby County at the weekend was the last straw, a defeat which was followed on Tuesday night with a 1-0 home loss against Charlton Athletic.
Forest have now collected just three points from a possible 21 over the course of the past seven matches, and this has seen them fall to seventh in the Championship standings. This is a far cry from the optimism of earlier this season, when all the talk was of Davies leaving the club back into the Premier League by virtue of automatic promotion.
Pearce had been lined up by club owner Fawaz Al Hasawi earlier this week, and it looked good when they entered discussions during the past 48 hours. However, the former England international, who spent 12 years at the club as a player and also had a temporary spell in charge, has decided making an emotional return to the City Ground.
Speaking on talkSPORT, for whom he has been guest appearing during Colin Murray’s show, Pearce, who has previously coached Manchester City at club level, said: “There was an emotional pull, because I had 12 great years at the club. I’ve had a chat with them, but at this moment, for personal reasons, I have decided not to take it any further.”
Forest are now expected to turn to Malky Mackay, who led Cardiff City to promotion to the Premier League last season but was controversially sacked earlier this term, former England manager Glenn Hoddle, or Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola as a replacement. With their chances of making the playoffs still alive, it is likely that the club will want to make a decision sooner rather than later if they are to mount a bid to return to the top-flight.