Nottingham Forest defender believes Championship rivals will 'fear' Stuart Pearce's side

Nottingham Forest centre back Michael Mancienne has been impressed with the club's start to the season, and says their Championship rivals will fear them.

Nottingham Forest made the decision to appoint Stuart Pearce as the club's new manager this summer, and many believed that the former England star would struggle back at his former club after disappointing spells in charge of Manchester City and the England Under-21 side.

Yet so far, so good for 'Psycho' upon his return to the City Ground. After splashing out big money on new signings such as Britt Assombalonga and Michail Antonio as well as free agent captures Matty Fryatt and Chris Burke, Forest have impressed so far and sit top of the Championship table with 13 points from five games.

Another of the club's new signings, Michael Mancienne, has been a key cog in Forest's defence since joining from Bundesliga side Hamburg in a £1m deal, and has missed just one league game so far - which happened to be the only time Forest dropped points with a 2-2 draw at Bolton.

The former Chelsea youngster as reunited with his former England Under-21 boss Pearce, and after their great start to the season, the 26-year-old believes that the rest of the Championship will be scared of facing Forest.

"Teams will fear us more, now that they know what we are about," said Mancienne. "We will be hard to play against and, if we keep playing to the level that we have been doing, in recent games, I am pretty confident that we will be right up there, come the end of the season."

"The team is getting more confident with every game and the goal of getting promotion always seems more likely when you are winning. We can't get ahead of ourselves, because each game is a different test. You cannot afford to underestimate anyone in the Championship. But we will keep on going. We will stay positive," he added.

Forest's next game will be a big test of their promotion credentials as they take on bitter rivals Derby County at the City Ground. The Rams lost to QPR in last year's playoff final, and manager Steve McClaren - who had an ill-fated spell as Forest boss back in 2011 - will be hoping to take them back to the Premier League this time, and they currently lie in seventh place in the Championship table.

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