Pearce backs Nottingham Forest hotshot for England, tells him to wait on international allegiance

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Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce has told Britt Assombalonga to wait before declaring his international allegiance.

Nottingham Forest have made an impressive start to life under new manager Stuart Pearce, picking up 20 points from the opening ten games to take themselves to second place in the Championship table. Pearce's side are still unbeaten, with five wins and fine draws so far, and they will be looking to finally return to the top flight this time around.

Pearce was backed in the transfer market this summer, and his big signing was the capture of Peterborough United striker Britt Assombalonga. The 21-year-old smashed 33 goals in just 58 for the Posh last season, and Forest clearly saw enough to justify paying £5.5m to bring him to the City Ground.

Assombalonga has repaid that faith so far, hitting eight goals in the first two months of the season to become one of the deadliest strikers in the second tier. Whilst his future with Forest looks clear for some time yet, the question marks over his international future remain.

Assombalonga was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but has yet to be capped at any level by the country of his birth. Having moved to England at just eight months old, Assombalonga is eligible to feature for the Three Lions, and Pearce has revealed how he has spoken to his star striker, advising him to wait before making a concrete decision over his future.

"I have had a chat with him about it. At the minute he is just happy to play club football," said Pearce. "At the minute he wants to get his club career going, at this level. That was the upshot of the conversation we had. There is no doubt Congo are interested. But he does not feel it right to do that right now; to commit in one direction or the other."

"We are quite happy that he is doing well here. The better he does here, the more international managers are likely to come and watch him," he added. "The beauty of it, for him, is that he does have two options. From a selfish, club point of view, having him here for two weeks and being able to train with us, is good for us."

With Assombalonga not heading off for international duty right now, Pearce has more time to work with the striker, but did admit that he would be a great choice for Gareth Southgate's England Under-21 side - particularly given that England aren't blessed with a host of young striking options.

"Do I think he is good enough for the under-21 squad? Yes I do. I believe he is good enough, but it is Gareth Southgate's choice," Pearce said.

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