Pearce: ‘I want to do the best I can for the club’

Jason Pearce with two footballs

Charlton’s Interim Manager Jason Pearce wants to put his stamp on the team during his time in charge.

Pearce played 175 times for the Addicks between 2016 and his retirement in 2022, lifting the League One play-off trophy at Wembley in 2019.

The former Charlton captain is set to take charge of Saturday’s home game against Fleetwood Town while a thorough recruitment process for the permanent Head Coach position continues.

Club Chairman James Rodwell and Technical Director Andy Scott are interviewing a shortlist of potential candidates - some in work and some out of work - today and tomorrow, leaving Pearce focused on getting the best out of his team on Saturday.

He explained: “My thoughts were to go in, as I did as player, and give 100% to help the team. I’ll make sure the team gives everything and that the players leave everything out there on the pitch.

“I want to get the team playing how I know the fans want us to play and I’ll look to implement that onto the group. I know quite a lot of the players through playing with them, some I’ve coached and some may not know who I am.

“There was a conversation with the staff and players [on Monday] and I had to prepare a speech, which hopefully came across alright. The players have been really receptive which has been good.”

The 35-year-old joined the club’s academy coaching staff following his retirement and was promoted to Senior Professional Development Phase Lead Coach in May after impressing Academy Director Steve Avory in a successful season. He was assistant to Anthony Hayes during the latter’s time as Caretaker Manager in December.

Pearce took training with the men’s first-team on Monday morning and has been pleased with what he has seen.

“There has been a really positive vibe at training,” he said. “Over the next few days we’ll be working on the way I’d like us to play. On Thursday, we’ll look at Fleetwood in possession and what we do out of possession. It is important we have a clear plan of what we do with and without the ball.”

Pearce explained that taking charge on Saturday at The Valley will be a proud moment, given his long association with the club.

“I have had visions of that moment before, but I didn’t see it happening so soon, to be honest,” he said. “It will be a fantastic moment personally for me and for my family. To go from a player, to captain, to managing the team does make me proud. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I just want to do the best I can for the staff, players and the fans.”

Pearce, who is being assisted by Hayes, has been joined at the club by former Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, who has come in to coach the goalkeepers until a permanent Goalkeeper Coach is appointed.

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