Kerala Blasters have zeroed in on their manager for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League, Goal can confirm. The Kochi-based team are set to appoint former Nottingham Forest defender Stuart Pearce as compatriot Steve Coppell's successor.
Kerala Blasters had explored the possibility of Steve Coppell continuing as the manager of the team, having led the Tuskers to the final of the 2016 edition, but as Goal had revealed, the talks went cold recently.
The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned franchise then turned their attention to Pearce and former Scotland national manager Billy Mckinlay. However, Blasters have finally decided to offer Stuart Pearce the opportunity to take over the Kerala hotseat.
Pearce is a very prominent name in England, having had a successful career as a defender for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United and Manchester City. Pearce has 78 caps for the English national team.
The 55-year-old got into football management after his playing career and managed Manchester City between 2005 and 2007 in the Premier League where he was sacked after lacklustre performances underpinned by a lack of goals upfront. He then took over as Engand U21 manager and led them to the 2009 UEFA U21 Euro final.
Pearce was also appointed as a coach of the English senior team under Fabio Capello. In fact, after Capello's resignation, Pearce took charge of England for one game - a 2-3 loss against Netherlands in 2012.
His last managerial job was at Nottingham Forest who sacked him in February 2015 after a disappointing campaign in the English Championship.
Pearce was known for his uncompromising style of defending during his playing days, which earned him the nickname 'Psycho'. In fact, his autobiography is also titled the same. Kerala Blasters,who have had English managers in all three seasons so far, should have no trouble adapting to the Englishman's no-nonsense approach to football.
They can certainly expect to see a well-drilled defensive side, which was the hallmark of their two previous runs to the ISL finals.
Goal's attempts to contact Kerala Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni and Ben Thatcher, the former Man City left-back who is the agent of Stuart Pearce, to seek a comment on this development remained futile.