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Forest appoint McLeish

Nottingham Forest have acted quickly to replace Sean O'Driscoll, appointing Alex McLeish as their new manager.

O'Driscoll was sacked on Boxing Day following a 4-2 victory against Leeds which lifted the club within a point of the play-off spots in the Championship but Forest's owners, the Al Hasawi family, were keen for a more experienced manager to take control ahead of the January transfer window.

Forest owners Abdulaziz Al Hasawi and Fawaz Al Hasawi issued a statement suggesting they were making a change now with the club's "long term future" in mind while Fawaz Al Hasawi took to Twitter to claim "made contact with PL manager tonight. Meeting Thursday."

Former Forest favourite Roy Keane and ex-Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo were also believed to be in the frame but McLeish, who led Birmingham to promotion to the Premier League in 2009, will be in charge for the league game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said: "I'm delighted to welcome Alex to our Club and look forward to working with him.

"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."

McLeish, 53, 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.

He 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 the club's official 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."


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