England

McLeish appointed Forest manager

Alex McLeish has replaced Sean O'Driscoll as Nottingham Forest manager.
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Nottingham Forest have confirmed the appointment of Alex McLeish as their new manager - just a day after parting company with Sean O'Driscoll.

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The former Birmingham and Aston Villa boss will begin work on Friday and will take charge of Saturday's npower Championship encounter with Crystal Palace at the City Ground.

"I'm delighted to welcome Alex to our club and look forward to working with him," Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi told his club's website.

"Alex took Birmingham to promotion from the Championship and has great experience of working in the Premier League.

"He's hungry for more success and I believe he's the man who can help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League."

The 53-year-old McLeish, who has also had spells in charge of Rangers and the Scotland national team, had been out of work since being dismissed by Villa in May, after finishing just two points above the relegation zone in the Premier League.

The Scot, who will be presented to the media following training on Friday morning, welcomed the opportunity to return to management at a club lying eighth in the second tier.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Nottingham Forest," McLeish told Forest's website.

"I've had time away from the game and now feel refreshed and ready to go.

"The fact that a club of Forest's magnitude has offered me a job excites me greatly - it's a wonderful opportunity.

"I can't wait to get started and I'm looking forward to meeting the players, talking to them and taking my first training session."

Forest raised eyebrows with their decision to part company with O'Driscoll just hours after he had guided them to an impressive 4-2 home win over Leeds on Boxing Day.

O'Driscoll, who left Crawley in the summer to take over at the City Ground, departed with the club sitting just a point outside the Championship play-off zone, but that was not deemed good enough by the club's Kuwaiti owners, who conceded that their timing was not perfect.

Abdulaziz Al Hasawi, who was present for the win over Leeds, said yesterday: "The timing of our decision may look a little odd after the win over Leeds but sometimes you need to make changes with the long-term future in mind.

Fawaz Al Hasawi added: "With the January transfer window approaching, we feel it's the right time to make a change. We are looking to bring in an ambitious manager with Premier League experience."

McLeish made his mark in English football after taking charge at Birmingham in 2007.

Although he failed to save the club from relegation from the top flight in May 2008, he guided Blues back to the Premier League the following season and secured a ninth-placed finish.

Victory in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal followed in February 2011, after which Birmingham's league form suffered and the were relegated at the end of the season.

McLeish left Birmingham amid acrimony to take charge of Villa, but lasted just one season at the helm of Blues' bitter rivals after narrowly avoiding another relegation.

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