Pearce Happy To Play The Clough Guy
Published : 26 Mar 2009 07:09:00
England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce claims his managerial style has been influenced by the late, great Brian Clough. Pearce played under Clough for eight years at Nottingham Forest before 'Old Big Head' retired in May 1993 after over 18 years in charge at the City Ground. Clough - the most successful manager in Forest's history after leading the club to the league title in 1978 before recording back-to-back European Cup triumphs in the two years that followed - was renowned for his no-nonsense style. Pearce possessed a similar quality during his playing days and built a reputation as an uncompromising left-back. The 42-year-old, who was back in Nottingham preparing the Under-21s for their friendly matches in Norway on Saturday and against France at the City Ground next week, has tried to take that trait into his managerial career and marry it with some of the methods of his mentor. "He has been the biggest influence on my career. I have fond memories of him and I am quite close to his son (Nigel) now," said Pearce. "I spent eight years working for him, he was a strong character and you could learn a great deal from him. You have got to admire anyone that had the success that he got. "Little bits of information I picked up from him I pass in to the players, but I don't pass it on in the name of Brian Clough. "He is a manager with a fantastic CV but it is the managers - and the players - in the here and now that are benefiting from him. "You've only got to bump into people that have worked for him over his career to see that some of Brian Clough has rubbed off on all of them. "I think you can see it if you look at the likes of Martin O'Neil and Brian Laws and maybe even Roy Keane - they have nothing but praise for the man and they have a lot of respect for him." Clough's legacy has been thrust to the fore recently with the making of a film - The Damned United - about his turbulent 44-day reign as Leeds manager. Based on David Peace's novel of the same name, the film is released on Friday but Pearce insists he has no intention of seeing it. "The players are free on Sunday, so if they want to go to the pictures to see the Brian Clough film then they are more than welcome," he said. "Personally, I won't be going to see it because I have the experience of working for him so I know what he was like." Meanwhile, Pearce explained his decision to leave Gabriel Agbonlahor out of his original 25-man squad for the games against Norway and France. The Aston Villa striker, who was in Fabio Capello's senior squad for England's friendly with Spain and started in Seville against the European champions, was only called up following Theo Walcott's withdrawal. "At the time I felt Gabby was going to be named in the senior squad. Fabio spoke about his squad in the week but he didn't finalise it until Saturday night," said Pearce. "When Fabio suggested that he wasn't going to be named in the senior squad, it was common sense to put him in with us for his experience."