Cole's shot on the turn after staying on his feet under pressure against Portsmouth displayed all the strength and guile that has kept him at the top for over a decade.
It was these skills that were part of why the manager wanted to bring the 33-year-old to the club, but as well as his individual assets, Cole's team ethic has delighted Pearce.
"He's a handful when he gets it to his feet in that box. He's an intelligent footballer, and for the work that he's put in over the four matches he deserves the two goals that he's got.
"Coley's a team player and when he sat in that dressing room he was pleased that he scored the goal, but he was pleased that the team had won and I like that about a player."
After scoring, Cole sprinted towards the City bench and the first person to congratulate him was the manager. Given that both men admit to some fierce confrontations in the past, there appears to be some mellowing between the pair, although Pearce jokes about Saturday's celebrations:
"I think he was going to someone behind me, I just happened to get in the way! In 20 years Coley's never shown me any great affection, and make no mistake I've never shown him a great deal either! There was a touch of mutual respect, I'm not sure if there was any liking!"
Pearce now spends the entire 90 minutes patrolling the technical area, after confessing that sitting in the stands was frustrating him, but he makes no apologies for joining in with the team's celebrations after Cole's winner.
"It was nice to get involved with the players, maybe the job I hold dictates that I shouldn't get involved in a bundle on the touchline, but its an emotional game and it was nice."