Football: Pearce refuses to be drawn on Forest's managerial vacancy

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Stuart Pearce has still not made up his mind about becoming the Nottingham Forest player-manager full time - but the England defender insists tonight's takeover vote by the Midlands club's 209 shareholders will not sway his decision one way or the other.

Alan Hill, his close friend and Forest's general manager, suggested after Saturday's 3-0 FA Cup win over Ipswich that Pearce was set to take the job and would inform the directors before the EGM. But Pearce, with three wins out of five, insisted: "Whichever way the decision goes on Monday it will be irrelevant to whatever I do.

"I'm not close to a decision yet. I've had so many matches on my mind and what with trying to get on with the job, I haven't had time to sit down with the wife and have a chat.

"That will probably be some time in the next couple of weeks. The chairman is very flexible. I told him I would decide sometime in January and he didn't pin me down on a specific date. I'm quite happy with that."

Pearce has given little impression of relishing the job but he is prospering. He said: "I've got a lot of respect for managers after this short burst I've had, the workload they're under."

Hill, though, is convinced Pearce is the right man to succeed Frank Clark. "He's got the bit between his teeth and he likes it. He can see things happening and personally I think he will take it.

"The way he handles players in the dressing-room is excellent. He talks to them in a manner they appreciate and he gets the best out of them.

"Obviously once he says yes he's going to have to put more time in because the manager's job is 12 hours a day, seven days a week, sometimes more. The people around him will have to help him but he'll have to knuckle down to a little more than he's doing at the minute."

Forest EGM, Business news, page 16