Stuart Pearce confident he can handle the pressure ahead of Nottingham Forest return next season

Pearce was announced as Forest's new manager from July 1 and the former left-back does not fear he will tarnish his reputation if he doesn't succeed at the City Ground

Stuart Pearce is confident he has the mental toughness to cope with being a returning hero.

It is not a phrase Pearce would use but there is no escaping the fact that the former Reds captain remains a cult figure at Forest - a club for whom he made over 500 appearances as a player during a 12-year stay, twice winning the League Cup under Brian Clough.

He also had a spell as caretaker boss during the 1996-97 season following the departure of Frank Clark.

The 51-year-old made an emotional return to the City Ground on Thursday as he was confirmed as the club's next manager.

Pearce will take up his role as Billy Davies' permanent successor in the summer after signing a two-year contract.

There is an old adage that you should never go back.

Asked if there was a fear he may tarnish his reputation and popularity amongst Forest fans, Pearce responded by recalling when he was thrust into the role of caretaker 17 years ago.

"I can remember my time as caretaker," said the former England left-back. "I can remember I was about to leave for training on a Friday morning and the phone rings.

"They said Frank Clark had left and could I manage the team for the next two games? We were bottom of the league and the next two games were against Arsenal, the champions, and Manchester United at home on Boxing Day. They were two big games.

"The dynamic of myself in the dressing room changed, as you can imagine.

"Does it daunt you or put you off? In fact I quite like it. I like the pressures that heap on me because I feel like I have the personality and demeanour for it.

"Does it bring the best out of me? I think so. That's why I step up and take penalties. That's why I put myself forward as a manager.

"If people have nice things to say about me then that's very nice. But what I did as a player is totally irrelevant. I want to make Fawaz (Al-Hasawi, the owner and chairman) very proud of me.

"The only thing I strive for is to be better tomorrow than I am today. That's all you strive for in management or your personal life. If you keep striving I think you have a chance.

"If I keep getting better, I think I can make an influence on those around me and make the club better.

"I would not suggest I'm a standalone but I have a strong mentality. But in many ways I come from a slightly unique background maybe where even when I stepped into the professional game I knew what I left behind."

Pearce turned down the job for personal reasons last week following initial talks.

However, with a club so close to his heart calling for him, he was persuaded by Al-Hasawi to resurrect discussions.

A compromise was reached for him to begin in the role in the summer and for academy manager Gary Brazil to continue on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.

PA

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Sport
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...