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Dec 26, 2012

Forest sack O'Driscoll

Nottingham Forest have sacked manager Sean O'Driscoll following their 4-2 win against Leeds which lifted them to within a point of the Championship's play-off places.

O'Driscoll had been under increasing pressure at the City Ground following a run of form which had yielded just one win in five games, but a convincing victory against Neil Warnock's fellow promotion hopefuls Leeds hinted that Forest could be ready to turn the corner.

However, owners Fawaz Al Hasawi and Abdulaziz Al Hasawi have cited a desire to 'move the club forward' was behind the decision to oust O'Driscoll who had only left Crawley to join Forest in July 2012.

On at least two occasions in recent weeks, O'Driscoll had been summoned by members of the Al Hasawi family and ordered to deliver "promotion or bust" this season, six months after the new owners preached of a three-year plan to take the club to the Premier League.

Former Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes and ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo are understood to be on the radar of the Forest owners who feel the club has not made the progress they desire over the last six months, despite O'Driscoll promising to build success, after bringing in 14 players and spending around £6 million on new faces.

Fawaz Al Hasawi said on the club's official website: "We cannot speak highly enough of Sean as a man. He was appointed at an extremely difficult time for the club and can count himself unlucky to have lost his job with the team just one point away from the top six.

"But we have a responsibility to look to the future for this great Club because we have huge ambitions for it. We knew when we bought the Club in the summer that it would take time for the players we bought in to settle but that process has taken longer than we anticipated.

"We feel we have developed a really strong squad of players but are still searching for consistency in terms of team performance, underlined by the fact that we have not won more than two games in succession in the Championship this season.

"And 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."

Abdulaziz Al Hasawi, who was in the crowd for the win against Leeds, added: "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.

"Sometimes those changes need to be made from a position of strength rather than weakness and that is what we are trying to do."

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