sport

Pearce hails Forest new boys

Stuart Pearce praised Nottingham Forest's new signings for making an immediate impact after three of them scored in the 4-0 Sky Bet Championship win over Reading.

Michail Antonio netted twice and set up another for Matty Fryatt, while 5million striker Britt Assombalonga also scored as the Reds romped to an emphatic victory.

Another two new signings, Chris Burke and Jack Hunt, also grabbed assists as the Championship leaders provided another demonstration of their promotion credentials.

"The most important thing for me is not the result, it is how quickly the new faces have settled into the team," Pearce said.

"I have to give credit to all the players who were already here, for making them feel welcome. But the new lads have settled in really, really well.

"That is the most pleasing thing for me about the start. You expect it to take time for a new player to fit into the squad. But the new signings have really hit the ground running."

Pearce delivered a half-time rollicking in the dressing room, even though Forest were leading 1-0 thanks to Antonio's first strike.

"I was very frustrated with the first half, I thought the players undersold themselves. I think when we play at home, we have to take the game by the scruff of the neck," he said.

"They didn't do that, we let Reading get a foothold in the game. I told them at half time, when you are on the pitch, never undersell yourself and we did that for 45 minutes.

"The one really pleasing thing is that, when you ask them to do something or you tell them something, they listen and they do it on the pitch.

"We had a lot of threat going forward and we nullified Reading's threat, largely, through the game. Going forward, we have pace, power and goals in us. We have to make sure the squad situation is nice and fresh. I am aware it is a long season and a building process at this club."

Reading boss Nigel Adkins was disappointed with his senior players, who he felt were culpable for the Forest goals. The Royals, who were missing 10 players through injury, named seven products of their academy in their starting XI.

Adkins said: "We had opportunities to score in the first half, which was pleasing, when you consider the young side we have got.

"But the big killer for us was the second goal, which was a shocking one, where we failed to defend the far post. That is down to senior players in the team not doing their jobs.

"Then the third one was just a ball into the box that we should have been able to comfortably defend. Forest enjoyed their afternoon, for us, it is a learning curve.

"Our young players did really well, which was pleasing. I have to give them credit for that. We had a lot of young players in that team. But that is not an excuse, because they were poor goals we conceded."