Forest hand McLeish the reins

Nottingham Forest have confirmed Alex McLeish as their new manager after sacking Sean O'Driscoll.

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Alex McLeish: Appointed Nottingham Fores

Alex McLeish: Appointed Nottingham Fores

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

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 said on club 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.

Alex McLeish factfile:

1959: Born January 21, Glasgow.

1976: Joins Aberdeen to begin his professional career.

1980: Helps the Pittodrie club win Scottish championship and wins first Scotland cap against Portugal.

1982: Aberdeen win the Scottish Cup. McLeish plays as a second-half substitute in Scotland's 4-1 defeat by Brazil in the World Cup.

1983: Aberdeen retain Scottish Cup, and defeat Real Madrid 2-1 in Gothenburg to lift European Cup Winners' Cup.

1984: Aberdeen win the Scottish league and cup double for the first time.

1985: The Dons retain the championship and win the League Cup.

1986: Aberdeen win Scottish Cup against Hearts.

1989: Aberdeen win the League Cup after extra time against Rangers.

1990: Wins Scottish Cup again with the Dons in penalty shoot-out with Celtic and is voted player of the year. Plays for Scotland in all three World Cup group games - against Costa Rica, Sweden and Brazil.

1993: Makes 77th and final Scotland appearance against Malta.

1994: Takes over from Tommy McLean as manager of Motherwell after 17 years at Aberdeen.

1995: Guides Motherwell to second place in the top flight in his first season.

1998: Appointed manager of Hibernian but the club are relegated to Division One.

1999: Wins First Division title with Hibernian.

2001: Leads Hibernian into the Scottish Cup final against Celtic and to UEFA Cup qualification after finishing third in the SPL.

2001: December - Appointed manager of Rangers.

2002: March - Clinches first trophy as Rangers boss with 3-0 CIS Cup final win over Ayr United.

May - Celebrates cup double with 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Celtic.

2003: May - Rangers pip their Old Firm rivals to the SPL championship on goal difference before Scottish Cup win over Dundee.

2005: May - Guides Rangers to second SPL title in three years.

December - Becomes first manager to guide an SPL club to last 16 of the Champions League, where Rangers lose to Villarreal.

2006: February 9 - Rangers announce McLeish will leave at end of season.

2007: January 29 - Confirmed as new Scotland manager, replacing Walter Smith.

September 12 - Scotland stretch winning run to five games with 1-0 victory over France in Paris.

November 17 - Scotland lose 2-1 to Italy at Hampden and fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

November 27 - Resigns as Scotland manager.

November 28 - Unveiled as new manager of Birmingham.

2008: May 11 - Birmingham are relegated from Premier League.

2009: May - Guides Birmingham back to top flight at first attempt.

2011: February 27 - Leads Birmingham to Carling Cup triumph, beating Arsenal 2-1 in final at Wembley.

May 22 - Birmingham relegated from Premier League after 2-1 final-day defeat at Tottenham.

June 12 - McLeish resigns as Birmingham boss.

June 17 - Appointed manager of Aston Villa. His arrival is met by fan protests.

2012: May 14 - Sacked as manager of Villa, who finished just two points off relegation.

December 27 - Appointed manager of Nottingham Forest.

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