Football: Bassett to take over from Pearce

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The Independent Online
Stuart Pearce, as expected, is to step down as Nottingham Forest's manager. He said yesterday he could not devote enough time to the rebuilding job needed after the club's relegation from the Premiership.

Pearce, who will carry on playing for the club, thinks Forest need to bring in new blood before next season's First Division campaign, but the England full-back is handing that responsibility to Dave Bassett, who moves across from his role as general manager following Forest's final Premiership game at Newcastle on Sunday.

"I feel as though some rebuilding needs doing at the club and, with the constraints on my time from international commitments, I am not going to have the time to go out and scout for players," Pearce said. "I'm not really prepared to sit back and take someone else's word for it on players."

Pearce, who became caretaker player-manager in December when Frank Clark left, said he had made his decision some time ago and that Forest's relegation had not had a bearing on it.

Michael Owen, the Liverpool striker, heads the 23-man England youth party from which the coach, Ted Powell, will name his squad for next month's World Youth Championships in Malaysia. Injuries and the need for rest mean Leicester's Emile Heskey and Everton's Michael Branch will not take part in the championships, which start on 16 June. England are drawn against Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and the Ivory Coast.

Wolves could be without six players for tomorrow's First Division play- off semi-final first leg at Crystal Palace. There are doubts over two midfielders, Simon Osborn and Neil Emblen; two strikers, Don Goodman and Iwan Roberts; and two defenders, Adrian Williams and Stephen Froggatt.

Bradford City's goalkeeper, Aidan Davison, has been recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for the friendly match against Thailand in Bangkok on 21 May. His only international appearance came in the 2-1 defeat by Sweden in a friendly match at Windsor Park last April.

Neither of coach Bryan Hamilton's first two choices, Alan Fettis and Tommy Wright, is available for the match, so Wigan's Roy Carroll will be Davison's understudy.

Northern Ireland and England youth squads, Digest, Page 29