The Bognor boss is happy with the progress of work to build a squad capable of challenging for honours this season – but says there’s a long way to go.
The team have had two good friendly run-outs, drawing 2-2 at Littlehampton last Wednesday then going down 3-0 to League One Burton Albion at Nyewood Lane on Saturday.
Pearce is happy with the defensive options available to him and coach Robbie Blake but wants at least one more midfielder and striker.
He is also concerned at early injury blows that have robbed him of centre-half Joe Cook and new wideman Gavin McCallum.
The line-ups for the opening two games have included a mix of familiar faces and trialists.
Pearce said the club were talking to two ex-Pompey academy players – defender Joe Dandy and midfielder Charlie Bell – about them joining and were hopeful another ex-Pompey prospect, midfielder-turned-defender Ethan Robb, would sign for the Rocks again after his loan with Brentford ended.
Pearce said: “One severe frustration is that I’ve not yet ben able to field Amadou Tangara (goalkeeper; away), Jake Flannigan (midfielder; ill), Joe Cook (defender; injured knee), Harvey Whyte (skipper; recovering from op) or Gavin McCallum (hamstring). Those are all key players.
“But we’ve been able to look at a lot of other players and there are some promising signs among them.
“We have a good set of defensive players, even if some aren’t fully fit yet, but we need to strengthen in midfield and up front.”
The Rocks have finally lost midfielder Tommy Leigh, who has signed for League One Accrington Stanley after protracted talks.
But Pearce said he was heartened to see defenders Calvin Davies and Chad Field playing again after long-term injuries, though he said Field’s return in particular would need to be steady.
The Nyewood Lane chief also spoke of his delight at seeing fans back at the Lane, and thanked them for their support now and off the field during the pandemic.