Wants Top Job: Former
Forest hero and current West Ham left back Stuart Pearce has revealed his
desire to return to former club Nottingham Forest as manager. The veteran
England international is currently on a month-to-month contract at Upton Park
and has admitted that this season will probably be his last.
"I'd like to carry on playing until the end of the season but, beyond that,
I don't really know," said Pearce.
"I certainly wont drop down the leagues for the sake of it, West Ham will
be my last club. I'm starting to feel the aches and pains when I get up in
the mornings, another bad injury now and that would be that."
The 38-year-old had an unsuccessful spell as player/manager at Forest but
told the Nottingham Evening Post: "I'd love another stab at the top job.
"When I was player/manager, the management side of things took a back seat,"
"Things would be different next time because I could concentrate solely on
"Forest is my spiritual home. I spent some of the best days of my life at
the City Ground and it would be a dream come true to come back as manager,
there's still a great bond between myself and the club."
Despite signalling his intentions, Pearce knows from experience how tough
it is in the City Ground hot-seat and doesn't want to pile more pressure on
current boss David Platt. "I don't want to push out David Platt. He must be
given time to prove himself," said Pearce.
"David had a tough time last season but Forest must stick with him. It would
be a mistake to get rid of him if they don't win promotion."
Too Pricey: Peterborough
have reportedly ended their interest in Forest defender Christian Edwards,
because he is too expensive.
Posh's interest in the central defender has waned after learning that Forest
are only interested in letting him leave on a permanent basis.
Peterborough were interested in taking a look at the 24-year-old Welshman
on a month's loan but have been told that it's either a £50,000 fee, or nothing.
Make Lightening Recovery: Riccy
Scimeca and Andy Johnson look to have made miracle recoveries in time to play
Forest's home League clash against Birmingham tomorrow.
David Platt had been resigned to being without the influential pair for Saturday's
City Ground meeting with Birmingham, and Monday's Bank Holiday date with Crystal
Palace at Selhurst Park due to injury.
Now though, both men have resumed full training with no ill effects and are
back in the frame for the weekend's double header. The speedy return of Scimeca
is a particular boost for Platt, who had originally feared he would be without
the versatile star for up to a month after he limped out of action during
Saturday's goalless draw at Norwich.
Forest will still be without central defender Jon Olav Hjelde for Saturday's
meeting with the Blues, but new loan-signing Robbie Blake is set to make his
debut by taking Marlon Harewood's place alongside Stern John.
Midfielder On The Way: Forest
are set to sign US international midfielder Ben Olsen on-loan when his MLS
season with D.C United comes to an end.
The diminutive midfielder, 23, has won 17 caps for the US, scoring three goals
in the process and has been first choice for the fallen MLS champions United.
Olsen can play on either flank, and is at his best when attacking defenders
with his turn of pace.
It is mooted that David Platt has been chasing the international for some
time, since capturing Columbus Crew striker Stern John, and now the boss is
pencilling him in for a role on the problem area of right wing.
The time scale for recruiting Olsen to the City Ground has been reduced, following
the ending of United's season, in the 1-0 home defeat by San Jose on Saturday.
That ensured that the Washington side's season will end in less than a month,
as they languish at the bottom of the Eastern Division, with no hope of making
the end of season playoffs.
Olsen will also be in the US Olympic squad, leading to his arrival in England,
at the end of their push for the gold medal.
Move For Cameron: Yesterday's
announcement that there is no cash available for players has forced David
Platt to call off his pursuit of Hearts star midfielder Colin Cameron.
The Forest boss has been told there is simply no money available for new transfers
at the present time, despite the arrangement of a new £6 million overdraft.
That facility has been set up in order to avoid cutbacks having to be made
elsewhere, and chairman Nigel Doughty has been quick to point out that as
the club are struggling to meet their current expenditure there is simply
no room for new recruits.
With one of the highest wage bills in the first division Forest are reckoned
to be losing something in the order of £140,000 per week, and on that basis
it is easy to see Doughty's point of view.
Platt though will be understandably disappointed. He has flown to Scotland
on more than one occasion to watch Cameron in action but it now looks as though
his time and effort have been wasted.
May Play: David Platt has named himself amongst the
substitutes for tonight's Worthington Cup clash away at Darlington. Jon Olav
Hjelde (calf), Riccardo Scimeca (back) and Andy Johnson (hamstring) are all
ruled out of the first round first leg tie so Platt has promoted himself to
the playing ranks.
The 34 year old decided to resurrect his playing career during the summer,
and in light of Forest's early crop of injuries, that decision looks very
sensible. Tony Vaughan is expected to take Hjelde's place at the heart of
the defence alongside Chris Doig, while Gary Jones will swap his striking
role for Scimeca's place in midfield.
Marlon Harewood is likely to return to the forward line to partner Stern John
as Jack Lester picked up a slight knock against Norwich.
Platt, meanwhile is keen for his men to build on their unbeaten start to the
campaign. "It's important we have a good Cup run and build on the momentum
we've gained in our opening two games," he maintained.
"People keep telling me that we're unbeaten in nine games having gone seven
games unbeaten at the end of last season. I'm not interested in that. Last
season is history as far as I am concerned, and the important thing is that
we are unbeaten in two," he stressed.
Plays Down Stern Move: David Platt has played down
speculation linking Serie A side Perugia with a move for Forest striker Stern
John. Italian press reports suggested that Forest winger Gianluca Petrachi,
now on-loan with the central Italian side, recommended the former Columbus
Crew star to them and they were considering making a move.
Platt was aware of the reports, but insists that he would not be willing to
listen to offers for John, who returned to action against Norwich on Saturday
after undergoing summer knee surgery.
The striker himself, it seems, was not willing to listen to such talk though
as he prepares for what will hopefully be a big season in the First Division.
He commented: "I love Forest and I am more than happy to stay here until the
end of my contract. The club is very professional and, having had all these
injuries, I know that I still have a lot left to prove.
"I now have to prove to everyone that I can do it here now and I am desperate
to get back in the team."
Have Stern Objective: Stern John is today rumoured
to be the target of Italian side Perugia. Their interest has come about after
Gianluca Petrachi returned to his old club after a poor year at Forest. He
informed the club of Stern's ability and Perugia chairman Luciano Gaucci is
apparently interested and said to be monitoring the Trinidad star's progress
as he recovers from a knee injury.
David Platt played
down the speculation saying: "I was aware that a story had appeared in one
of the Italian sports dailies but I've not heard anything official.
"If anyone from Perugia tries ringing me about Stern I'll feign ignorance
and pretend I can't speak a word of Italian."
Out For Canaries: Stern John has stepped up his training
in a bid to get fit for this Saturday's game against Norwich. However, it
is unlikely that he will make the starting line up and the best he can probably
hope for is a place on the sub's bench and 15-20 minutes towards the end of
Out For Canaries: Andy Johnson looks set to miss this
weekends game against Norwich after tweaking a hamstring during last weekends
game against West Brom.
The injury is not as bad as first feared but Johnson did not train today and
has been told to rest the hamstring.
In For Baggies: With his proposed move to Birmingham
looking to be over for now Andy Johnson is set to reclaim his place in the
first team for this Saturday's game against West Brom.
And Rogers Back For Baggies: Dave Beasant and Alan
Rogers both picked up injuries during the final pre-season game against Port
Vale last weekend. They had been declared as doubtful for the season opener
against West Brom on Saturday, however, the latest gossip is that both are
making good progress and if it continues both could be in contention for places
in the team.
To Play: Most of today's newspapers are carrying stories
that David Platt is set to play himself in Saturday's season opener against
Platt has maintained throughout the close season that he his keeping himself
fit just in case, however, if the papers are to be believed then Platt could
be making an appearance on Saturday.
Johnno Deal Is Dead: Andy Johnson's move
to Birmingham City is dead according to the Nottingham Evening Post today.
The deal has been deadlocked since the end of last week when the two clubs
failed to agree on their valuations of Johnson and N'dlovu, who would move
to the City Ground as part of the deal.
John Back In Two Weeks: There is speculation
today that Stern John could be back in action in two weeks time. He is currently
recovering from keyhole surgery to repair a damaged knee ligament, and he
will definitely miss the seasons opener against West Brom this Saturday. However,
he is making excellent progress and is expecting to play some part in the
following weeks game against Norwich.
Linked With Boyack: Further press reports are suggesting
that Forest are preparing a bid for Dundee's transfer listed Steven Boyack.
Boyack was placed on the transfer list by Dundee in somewhat controversial
circumstances and Forest appear to be prepared to offer him a lifeline.
The reports suggest that the 23 year old midfielder and former Rangers player
is set to come to the City Ground on trial next week.
Linked To Italy: Press reports today are suggesting
that Italian side Perugia are about to offer around £2 million for Chris Bart-Williams.
Won't Play: It is rumoured that Andy Johnson won't
be playing against Port Vale tomorrow. He is being held back as a precaution
after Birmingham's initial offer for him was rejected by Forest.
Platt is still positive that the transfer can be resurrected and hopes to
have Zimbabwean international, Ndlovu on board in time for Forest's Division
One opener against West Brom on Saturday week.
The manager said: "There could be further developments, and as precaution
Andy won't play against Port Vale on Saturday and we'll see what happens over
"One thing's for certain, I'd like this matter resolved - one way or the other
- within the next three or four days."
Vaughan To Play: Tony Vaughan is expected
to step up his bid for a place in the opening game of the season against West
Brom by playing in tomorrow's final pre-season game against Port Vale.
Vaughan underwent surgery at the end of last season for a knee injury. He
was not expected to be ready for a return to action until late August, however,
his recovery has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few weeks and the
progress he has made earned him a 15 minute run out in the reserves on Wednesday.
Off To Birmingham: There are strong rumours today
that Andy Johnson could be on his way to Birmingham City, with Peter N'dlovu
moving to the City Ground in a swap deal.
Wolves Snatch Al-Jaber: Wolverhampton Wanderers
look set to steal Saudi Arabian striker Sami Al-Jaber from under Forest's
David Platt has been chasing the Saudi international since the end of last
season after failing to see him play during a trial period. But a deal was
never agreed between Forest and his current club Al-Hilal.
The Saudi authorities were unwilling to release the player on loan and Forest
failed to get the paperwork allowing him to play in a reserve match last season.
But the news that Wolves will play him in a pre-season match against Southampton
this weekend will come as a major blow to Platt and owner Nigel Doughty.
Al-Jaber is currently filming a soft drinks advert in London today with other
footballers including David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Michael Owen.
Woan Move Imminent:
Ian Woan is expecting to hear within the next 24 hours whether or not his
move to Bolton is to go ahead.
To Lose £1.5 million: It is widely rumoured
today that Forest look set to lose £1.5 million on the Nigel Quashie
deal with Portsmouth should it go ahead.
Press reports today are indicating that Portsmouth have only bid £500,000
for the midfielder this time, despite bidding £800,000 for him only
two months ago.
Neither club would comment the deal.