New boss having a big impactAlex Pearce says that Steve Clarke’s ‘new-manager effect’ rivals that of any other boss he has worked under at Reading.
Since being appointed at the end of December, Clarke has overseen four matches; winning two, drawing one and losing one.
He has also recalled Pearce to Reading’s starting XI, and made him captain in Jem Karacan's absence, and the centre-half believes that the Royals are only going to get stronger as the season goes on.
“Everyone is on the same wavelength at the moment,” he told BBC Berkshire. “Everyone is enjoying it; relishing it. The new manager has come in and normally you get a little upturn, but this is the biggest effect I think I have seen when a new manager has come in.
“Everyone has taken to it and taken to the new ideas. You’ve got to give credit to Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen for that. It’s something that is very noticeable, how everyone has bought into it and is enjoying it.
“He’s bringing in some great, fresh ideas and the results have been going well, which obviously helps. The gaffer came in immediately after the Birmingham away game and the first objective from his side was to make us more solid and to stop conceding as many shots at our goal, which had been hurting us in a big way.
“He’s done that. He’s put a few things in place and given us certain things to do when the opposition have the ball; to drop to a certain place that allows us to break when we win it back.
“Also, making the space between the defence and the midfield tighter so there is no room for good players to get in there, turn and hurt us. That is what’s been happening this season.
“At this stage of the campaign, it’s all about the way you’re playing and I can see ourselves moving up the table slowly but surely. In this league it can happen quite quickly, too.
“The play-off gap is 11 points but if you take it game by game, and the work we have been putting in on the training ground, then we can see ourselves going up that league. It’s very positive at the moment.”
The 26-year-old is also loving wearing the captain’s armband on a regular basis.
He said: “I’m certainly enjoying having the armband. I’m relishing the role. The manager pulled me in before his first game and said that I was going to be skipper, and would lead the boys on and off the pitch.
“You don’t want it to change your game or personality but if it can for the better then you should thrive on it. That’s what I’m trying to do.
“I’m enjoying the responsibility and there’s no prouder moment for me than leading my team out, as I call it, because I’ve been here since I was 12. It’s a very proud moment for me every time I do it.”
Fans can listen to Alex Pearce's full interview on BBC Berkshire's Late Kick-off show between 6pm and 7pm this evening, or between 2pm and 3pm tomorrow afternoon.