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Stuart Pearce pleased by winning return with Nottingham Forest

11 August 2014

Stuart Pearce said he was proud to mark his return to Nottingham Forest with a win - and hopes to repay fans for their support by building on their 2-0 opening day Sky Bet Championship success over Blackpool.

Goals from Michail Antonio and Chris Burke helped a new-look Reds side overcome a patched-together Blackpool team, who were only able to name four substitutes, after being robbed of the services of seven players by injury and paperwork issues.

Forest themselves included six players making their debuts, but Blackpool trumped that, with only two players remaining from last season within their hastily put together 20-man squad.

There were no such headaches for Pearce, however, with the former Forest defender given a rapturous welcome on his return as manager at a sold out City Ground.

"It was a fantastic reception. I am not sure there is another footballer in the country who has had the same relationship with the fans for decades, if I am honest," he said.

"I was delighted and proud to walk out at the helm of this football club. But the important thing is that we collected three points. We want to carry that on now. We want to give something back.

"I thought it was a bit of a shabby reception, to be fair. I hope they liven up a little bit next time we are at home and give us a little more support. I am kidding, of course. It was fantastic."

Pearce was happy with his side's performance, although he admitted there was room for improvement.

"To win a game and keep a clean sheet on the first day, we are happy with that. We were against a team who had done an outstanding job, because they had a fragmented pre-season. They made it very difficult for us and credit to their manager for that. They have done a good job in the situation."

Blackpool boss Jose Riga, who only discovered that some of his players would not be able to play on the morning of the game, admitted that the situation is not ideal - but felt his side had played well in the circumstances.

"Commitment, behaviour, team spirit, some of the players have only known each other for a few days. Even at the end physically and mentally is quite difficult. They did well," he said. "I cannot feel happy because we got no points.

"My ambition is to build a competitive team. If I'm here of course we want a better future with more players, better players. My only focus is Blackpool, to get some players, to be consistent, efficient, to give to fans what they deserve. I cannot do a good job if I have something else in my mind.

"The news this morning was that we have only nine players. I was expecting to have more players than today. I try to do my job as manager and not solve administrative issues. For sure I cannot stay in this kind of situation a long time."

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