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Stuart Pearce aiming to take Nottingham Forest to the Premier League

4 April 2014

By Tony Leighton

Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce is back at the City Ground and aiming to achieve as a manager what he did as a player for the club he loves like no other.

Ask the former England left-back to name his best moment from the 12 years he spent as a Forest player and he answers with no hesitation.

"My favourite moment," said Pearce, "was scoring a goal at Peterborough to get this club into the Premier League in the latter years of my career here."

That was in 1993/94, the season after Forest were relegated from the Premier League and a campaign in which several top-flight clubs tried to sign Pearce.

"I could have left the club but decided to stay," added Pearce, who had joined the club from Coventry City in 1985, "and so the loyalty I showed was sort of repaid.

"I walk through the door now with a similar scenario - my job is to get this football club into the top league, and I will do everything in my power to do that."

Pearce power may not be needed. He will not take over until July, by which time Forest may already have been promoted from the Sky Bet Championship.

Under caretaker manager Gary Brazil, in charge following the sacking of Billy Davies, they currently lie one place and two points below the Play-Offs.

"What division the club are in [next season], for me, is slightly irrelevant, If we get into the Premier League then brilliant, we'll go from there.

"If the Premier League is achieved by Gary and the players then it's been a great season for the club, but if it doesn't happen it's not a problem."

With the chance of promotion still alive, Forest wanted ex-Manchester City and England Under-21 manager Pearce to start his duties immediately.

But he insisted on waiting until the summer.

"There are one or two family issues which will be resolved between now and the summer.

"Over and above that there are so many commercial issues I'd have had to walk away from, commitments I'd promised people, and I'm not that way inclined.

"I spoke with the chairman last week and said that unless I could come through the door and be 100 per cent committed, it wouldn't be fair on the club.

"I could not have done it to the owner and most importantly to the fans. But everything will be in place come the summer."

Come the summer, cometh the man they called 'Psycho' for the aggression, passion and all-out commitment he gave to the Forest cause as a player.

He was and still is a massive fans' favourite and will be guaranteed the full backing of everyone connected with Forest from the moment he takes over.

But he insisted: "I have to start again, I have to build a reputation that says the fans are proud of this club, to put a product on the pitch that we're all proud of.

"I'm certainly proud to be back here and pleased to be back in management.

"The opportunity to come back into football was big, and the opportunity to come back into this football club was a big draw for me.

"You have a pride and a passion for the club you represent, which I've had for all the clubs I've worked for and especially this one."

Pearce had his first taste of management as Forest's caretaker player-manager during 1996/97 - his last season as a City Ground player.

And, now he's back, he said: "I just want the fans to get behind me and the team and hopefully we can drive the club forward."

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