Friday 15 December 2017

'Refreshed' McLeish relishing Forest chance

ALEX McLEISH was back in management this morning as boss of English Championship promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest.

McLeish had been out of work since being dismissed by Aston Villa in May but is viewed by Forest's Kuwaiti owners as the manager to guide the east midlands club to the Premier League.

The 53-year-old Scot, who will appear at a press conference this afternoon after taking charge of training, welcomed the opportunity to join a club lying eighth in the Championship, just a point outside the play-offs. He replaced the sacked Sean O'Driscoll and said: "I'm really looking forward to working with Nottingham Forest.

"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."

McLeish was confirmed in the Forest hotseat yesterday evening -- a day after the club raised eyebrows by dismissing O'Driscoll, who hours earlier had overseen a 4-2 win over Leeds.

Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi revealed that the club were keen to appoint a manager with Premier League experience, something McLeish gleaned during stints at Birmingham and Villa.


"I'm delighted to welcome Alex to our club and look forward to working with him," Al Hasawi said.

"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."

After a successful career north of the border, McLeish moved to English football in November 2007, joining a Birmingham side battling relegation from the Premier League.

Although he failed to save the club from the drop, he guided Blues back to the Premier League. A shock victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final followed in February 2011, but that was followed by an alarming slump that saw Birmingham relegated.

McLeish left Birmingham amid acrimony to take charge of Villa, but lasted just one season at the helm.

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