Tag Archives: nottingham

Nottingham Forest super-fan forced to miss a match for first time since 1973… 1,786 games ago!

Forest super-fan forced to miss a match for first time since 1973… 1,786 games ago!

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

00:53 GMT, 2 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:53 GMT, 2 April 2013

Britain's most dedicated football fan who has seen 1,786 consecutive Nottingham Forest games was left gutted on Monday after he was forced to miss his first match in 40 YEARS.

Loyal Stuart Astill, 67, has spent thousands of pounds clocking up a staggering 2,534 matches since he first went to watch Forest play in 1956.

The obsessed OAP reckons he must have travelled over 100,000 miles by coach, car and plane to watch his beloved side play across Britain and Europe.

No 1 fan: Stuart Astill with his vast collection of Nottingham Forest memorabilia

No 1 fan: Stuart Astill with his vast collection of Nottingham Forest memorabilia

He last missed a game in 1973 when he was an usher at a wedding – but has been to every home and away games ever since.

Last week Stuart was admitted to hospital after his foot became infected but still made it to his beloved team's 2-2 draw at home against Brighton on Saturday (30/1).

But doctors banned the footie-mad pensioner from travelling to Burnley on Monday following an operation on his foot.

It meant devastated Stuart was forced to listen to a Forest game on the radio for the first time in his life.

Retired British Rail engineer Stuart, who lives in Sandiacre, Derbyshire, said: 'This is my first missed game for 40 years.

Last-gasp: Forest's Lewis McGugan scored a late penalty to salvage a draw at Burnley on Monday

Last-gasp: Forest's Lewis McGugan scored a late penalty to salvage a draw at Burnley on Monday

Last-gasp: Forest's Lewis McGugan scored a late penalty to salvage a draw at Burnley on Monday

'The last time was in 1973 – it was at home to Preston and I was an usher at a wedding.

'I'll miss the atmosphere. I knew my run would end at some point but I didn't expect it to be now.

'It's going to be really unusual listening to the game on the radio after how many games I have been to.'

Point gained: Forest boss Billy Davies celebrates his side's battling draw at Turf Moor

Point gained: Forest boss Billy Davies celebrates his side's battling draw at Turf Moor

Stuart started going to football matches with his dad – a Derby County supporter – and his first Nottingham Forest game was a 4-0 win over Middlesbrough in November, 1956.

Remarkably, he has only missed two games since the 1960s and even goes to watch the youth team play.

He was there when captain John McGovern lifted the European Cup after a 1-0 win over Malmo in Munich in 1979 and saw every game of the famous Brian Clough managerial era.

And Stuart said he would 'move heaven and earth' to see Forest play in the Premier League again.

He added: 'Winning the European cups was unbelievable. Seeing John McGovern lift the trophy in Munich, a few tears came to my eyes.

'I'd only seen the European Cup on telly – it was fantastic.

'And I did see every competitive match that Brian Clough managed us in.

'They were an unbelievable team. I feel privileged to say I was there.

'I'm not sure whether I could afford to go in the Premier League, but I would move heaven and earth to do it.'

Loyal Stuart was even rewarded for his loyalty at the beginning of the season when Forest's new owners, the Al-Hasawi family, gave him a complimentary place in the exclusive 1865 club for a year.

A spokesman for Nottingham Forest said: 'It is a great shame Stuart will not be here to cheer us on.

'Everyone at the club would like to wish him a speedy recovery.'

Life-changing: Stuart with the programme from his first Forest game, on November 10th 1956

Life-changing: Stuart with the programme from his first Forest game, on November 10th 1956

Npower Championship round-up March 5

Bonkers! Championship goes crazy as promotion race hots up with a glut of late goals

By
Janine Self

PUBLISHED:

11:36 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 6 March 2013

So did the world stop for you on Tuesday night Answers on a postcard, addressed to Senor Jose Mourinho, c/o Real Madrid.

The Special One might be slightly surprised to learn that for many the earth continued to revolve around its axis, despite the global marketing pull of a duel with Manchester United.

While 74,759 paying customers crammed into Old Trafford, another 175,547 decided that the npower Championship was the only show in town.

Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night

Super Kev: Veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace on Tuesday night

The second tier of English football has been even more crazily unpredictable than usual this season and did not disappoint on Tuesday night.

How about Kevin Phillips, 39 years old, and scorer of an eight-minute hat-trick for Crystal Palace in the 4-2 win over Hull

The same Hull who thrashed Birmingham last weekend and who started the night in an automatic promotion place. Steve Bruce’s team are down to third while Palace lurk a point behind.

At fogbound Nottingham Forest, the pre-match chat was all about the second coming of Billy Davies. No mention of Sir Alex Ferguson or Cristiano Ronaldo at all.

Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies

Second coming: Forest are making a late charge for the play-offs under Billy Davies

The force appears to be with Davies. Ipswich had two players sent off and came within four minutes of holding out for a point only to concede to a deflected goal from Lewis McGugan.

Since returning as manager, Davies has drawn one and won the last four games. With that sort of momentum the play-offs are beckoning.

Late goals were the theme of the night at Leicester, Bolton and Huddersfield, too. Just down the road from Old Trafford, Chris Eagles continued Wanderers’ fine run with an added-time winner against Lancashire rivals Blackburn.

Rest assured that none of the 19,063 fans at the Reebok would have given United a passing thought – apart from hoping they would lose, of course.

Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton

Late show: Chris Eagles (right) scored an added-time winner for Bolton

Danny Ward came off the bench to score in stoppage time and give Mark Robins his first home win as Huddersfield manager at the expense of a Middlesbrough side, who are in freefall. Eight defeats in 11 games is doing nothing for Tony Mowbray’s mood.

The biggest attendance of the night was 22,660 at Leicester, who had Manchester United loanee Michael Keane to thank for yet another added-time goal – an equaliser against Leeds.

Some people will always remember Tuesday as the night Roy Keane burned whatever bridges he had left with Ferguson after backing the sending off of Nani.

Wolves fans will remember it as the night manager Dean Saunders won his first match after 10 attempts.

Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall

Rare win: Wolves picked up their first three points under Dean Saunders at Millwall

The 2-0 win at Millwall took Saunders’s team out of the bottom three and sets them up nicely for the next match, except it is at Forest.

Rant of the night came from Dave Jones, manager of Sheffield Wednesday, after a 2-1 defeat at Watford. Suggesting the referee was more suited to the Sunday League will not go down well at
the FA.

Howler of the night came from the same match. Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond scuffed a back pass from Marco Cassetti, which allowed Michail Antonio to run round him for a simple tap-in.

Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday

Comeback: Fernando Forestieri netted twice as Watford beat Sheffield Wednesday

Brighton’s point at bottom club Bristol City came at the expense of a bad achilles injury to striker Craig Mackail-Smith, who is out for the rest of the season, which is a huge blow to their play-off hopes.

Last, but not least, even runaway leaders Cardiff are wobbling. Craig Noone popped up eight minutes from time with an equaliser against Derby, who were so short of bodies they could only name five substitutes.

Now that’s something you don’t see in the Champions League, either.

Aaron Ramsey: It"s taken three years to get over Ryan Shawcross tackle

Ramsey: It's taken me three years to get over THAT tackle by Shawcross

By
Rob Draper

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

03:41 GMT, 17 February 2013

It will soon be three years since Aaron Ramsey was on the receiving end of that tackle from Stoke's Ryan Shawcross, a challenge that broke his leg in a manner which caused onlookers to wince and look away in disgust.

Three long years as far as Ramsey is concerned.

Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge

Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge

The unwanted anniversary comes at the
end of this month and although Ramsey was back playing by November
2010, it would be fair to say the injury and the vehemence of the tackle
had a greater effect on the 23-year-old than a mere nine-month absence.

He was on course to be a worldclass
player, his trajectory well ahead of compatriot Gareth Bale, and he
looked to be a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal.

His comeback season was largely
spent on loan at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff. Last term he recovered
his identity as an Arsenal player.

Only this season has he shown the form that saw him lauded so early in his career.

'It was a really tough thing to go through and I don't wish it upon anybody,' said Ramsey.

'The determination and the
professionalism that you need, all the hours you have to spend in the
gym, it's quite tough. But I've got through that. It's taken me a bit
longer than I would've liked, but I'm happy now where I am, and hoping
to improve and carry on this good form that I'm in.'

His confidence was fractured as well as his leg.

Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal

Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal

'Yes, that's a natural thing,' he
said. 'Confidence is a massive thing and if you're struggling with that
it does reflect in your performances. But I've got that back now. I'm
hungry to keep that shirt and I've proved that with the way I've been
playing of late.

'There has been a good progression
and hopefully I can get back to where I was. That injury did take it out
of me and hopefully that will only have been a minor hiccup when I look
back on my career.'

Bayern Munich in the Champions League will this week provide an acid test, particular after yesterday's exit from the FA Cup.

Ramsey has to establish himself as a guaranteed pick, though 16 starts this season represents progress.

'I'm getting stuck in a lot more,' he
said. 'I'm winning a lot more balls back and reading the game better
and moving the ball quicker, which suit's the way we play. I've had
positive feedback from the boss.'

But he is aware of Arsenal's
eightyear trophy drought – the Champions League represents their last
chance of silverware this season – and of lost opportunities in Europe's
premier competition.

A 4-0 defeat by AC Milan cost them last year despite winning the home leg 3-0.

Before that they could not hold a 2-1 home-leg lead over Barcelona.

He said: 'Hopefully, we can get into a strong position against Bayern in the home leg and we'll be more experienced.'

Alex McLeish"s position at Nottingham forest under threat

EXCLUSIVE: McLeish's position at Forest under threat after bust-up with Kuwaiti owners

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 30 January 2013

Alex McLeish’s position at Nottingham Forest is unclear following a bust-up with the club’s new owners over transfer funds.

The former Scotland manager has had a row with the Kuwaiti owners of the east Midlands club after a tense five weeks since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll.

Matters have been bubbling under ever since O’Driscoll’s sacking with chief executive Mark Arthur, head of player recruitment Keith Burt and Forest ambassador Frank Clark all being asked to leave.

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

After 14 years of service to Forest, Arthur was handed a letter informing him of his cessation of duties and Burt found out he was being axed after his wife read out a similar missive from the club while he was hosting a scouts’ meeting.

Forest were taken over by the Al-Hasawi family last summer and McLeish was appointed in bizarre circumstances after O’Driscoll was sacked following a 4-2 triumph over Leeds United on Boxing Day, a victory which left Forest just one point from the play-offs.

McLeish was promised a significant kitty to use during the transfer window. However, the club’s technical advisor Dr Tariq Aljalahmah, has held a series of meetings this week with several key figures including McLeish and the remaining members of the club’s scouting team.

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

The Scot was told that the club was reticent to sanction any cash deals, with Forest preferring instead to do business in the loan market.

McLeish stood his ground, asking for the money that he believed he was getting after agreeing to take on the job late last month.

The matter had been left in abeyance but some progress looked to have been made last night as Forest mounted a bid to swipe Peterborough United’s George Boyd from under Crystal Palace’s noses.

Sean O"Driscoll named as new Bristol City manager

O'Driscoll replaces McInnes as Bristol City boss after snubbing Championship rivals Blackpool

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

10:17 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:04 GMT, 14 January 2013

Sean O’Driscoll has been confirmed as manager of Bristol City after choosing them ahead of fellow Championship club Blackpool.

The former Nottingham Forest manager, who turned down Barnsley because he felt the job was not right for him, was ready to succeed Michael Appleton at Bloomfield Road.

But a late sales pitch from the Bristol City board has steered him towards Ashton Gate in a shock development that should be confirmed in the next day.

Checking in: Bristol City have named Sean O'Driscoll as head coach on a rolling 12 month contract

Checking in: Bristol City have named Sean O'Driscoll as head coach on a rolling 12 month contract

Derek McInnes was sacked in the wake of Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Leicester and City moved swiftly, after earmarking O’Driscoll but sensing he was about to accept Blackpool’s offer.

O’Driscoll, 55, harshly sacked by Forest earlier this season, was won over after being assured by Ashton Gate chiefs that he could do the job on his terms, even if the likely scenario of relegation to League One becomes a reality.

O'Driscoll said: 'Sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct. It just feels right.

'I think it needs a concerted effort from everyone (to stay up) and I'll get all the credit or blame, but everyone needs to be moving in the same direction.

'We need to hit the ground running and in this topsy-turvy Championship, anything is possible.

'If
we put a run together we can soon be in a different position in the
league. Everyone I have spoken to is confident we have the ability in
the squad to achieve that.

'I like the way the club is being developed. This has always been a well-run football club and that is never going to change.'

Looking down: Derek McInnes was sacked following a 4-0 defeat by Leicester

Looking down: Derek McInnes was sacked following a 4-0 defeat by Leicester

He continued: 'I know most of the players from playing against them or seeing them play so I have an opinion of the players as they will have an opinion of me.

'But what is most important in football is the character of the team and I don't know that. I have got to create a little bit of trust quickly.

'My message to the players will be “show me what you can do.” That doesn't always mean how many goals, how many times you can keep the ball up or how clever you can be. It is more the attitude you show when things don't go your way.

'This is a great opportunity for the players to show me when it hasn't gone their way that they are up for the fight. We've got to do it together.'

John Lansdown, the Robins' football managing director, added: 'Sean has got a really good record at clubs and a record of being there for the long term and we appointed Sean because we believe he has the ability to keep us up this season.

'We are looking forward to working with him for a long time.'

Sean O"Driscoll is the frontrunner for the Blackpool job

EXCLUSIVE: O'Driscoll the shock name for Blackpool job

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

21:31 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 11 January 2013

Sean O’Driscoll has emerged as a shock frontrunner for the Blackpool job and could be confirmed as Michael Appleton’s successor in the next 24 hours.

After agreeing a compensation package with Blackburn for the loss of Appleton, who watched his new team from the stands against Wolves at Molineux, Blackpool were expected to move for Bradford boss Phil Parkinson.

Heir apparent: Sean O'Driscoll is being lined up for the Blackpool job. He was sacked from Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day after beating Leeds 4-2

Heir apparent: Sean O'Driscoll is being lined up for the Blackpool job. He was sacked from Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day after beating Leeds 4-2

But Sportsmail understands they have turned their attention to former Nottingham Forest manager O’Driscoll and are close to striking an agreement to install him as their new manager.

After being controversially sacked by Forest, despite taking them to the fringes of the play-off places, O’Driscoll turned down an approach from Barnsley, after speaking to Oakwell officials but deciding the job was not for him.

Taking the reins at Blackpool is viewed as a different proposition, though, and he looks to be on the verge of a swift return to Championship management, with Parkinson waiting in the wings, should the deal hit a last-minute hitch.

Enlarge

Quick exit: Michael Appleton (pictured) has left to join Blackburn - he was only in charge at Bloomfield Road for just two months

Quick exit: Michael Appleton (pictured) has left to join Blackburn – he was only in charge at Bloomfield Road for just two months

Best goal of 2012: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Papiss Cisse, Neymar, who will win?

Who scored the best goal of 2012 Drogba, Neymar and Ibrahimovic are all in with a shout… here are Sportsmail's top 10

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UPDATED:

14:40 GMT, 31 December 2012

Compiling a list of the greatest goals of the year is always tricky. It’s difficult to judge whether a magnificent dribble leading to a solo goal is better than a searing volley from 30 yards out.

But come the end of the year it’s time to decide which strikes make the cut and which must fall by the wayside. This collection has been chopped and changed a-plenty, but this is what we’re sticking with.

Only two of FIFA’s three Puskas award short-listed goals are present and correct – apologies and an honourable mention to Radamel Falcao.

We only have space for 10 goals on this list but if you believe other strikes deserve to be recognised then have your say in the comment section below.

Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10

Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10

10. Peter Crouch (STOKE v Man City)

People love to stick the boot in on Stoke because of their 'dour' brand of football. But they have offered some magic moments too during their time in the top flight.

Earlier this week we saw Cameron Jerome score an absolute rocket against Southampton. And in March Peter Crouch dealt Manchester City a setback in the title race.

We know now that it didn't stop them winning the Premier League, but at the time this wondergoal gave Man United the chance to open up a three point lead at the top.

Crouch nodded Asmir Begovich's long punt to Jermain Pennant who nodded it back and then the giant striker teed himself up and lashed in a stunning volley from an awkward angle past Joe Hart.

9. Simon Cox (NOTTINGHAM FOREST v Birmingham)

In the 1998 World Cup quarter-final clash between Holland and Argentina, Dennis Bergkamp scored a delightful goal, controlling a long pass expertly and finishing with aplomb.

Nottingham Forest and Ireland striker Simon Cox evoked that spirit against Birmingham in the Championship. Yes, the stage was smaller but the skill was no less admirable.

Cox took one touch to kill Lewis McGugan's long ball and then adjusted instantly to delicately flick it over the helpless Jack Butland.

8. Rodrigo Palacio (GENOA v Lazio)

Did he mean it That was the question everybody was asking when Rodrigo Palacio, now of Inter, scored this gem.

The Genoa striker's cute backflick from this corner floated over the surprised Lazio keeper and sank into the net.

Some say it was luck, others judgement. Sportsmail falls in the latter camp and will give the Argentina hitman the credit this effort deserves.

7. Gaston Mealla (NACIONAL POTOSI v The Strongest)

Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita made it famous at Wembley in 1995. But keeping the scorpion kick revival movement going in 2012 was Nacional Potosi striker Gaston Mealla. (See also THIS hilarious scorpion kick own goal for last year's effort).

During a Bolivian league match between his side and The Strongest, an under-hit dink forward was set to land behind the striker on the edge of the box. But Mealla cared not for his team-mate's mistake.

His stupendous athleticism salvaged the situation and helped create a bizarre and beautiful goal.

6. Neymar (SANTOS v Internacional)

Santos' much sought-after Brazilian demonstrated just why Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all are willing to splash the cash on him with this bewitching solo goal against Internacional.

He picked the ball up in his own half surged at 100 miles-per-hour past, round and through anybody who stood in his way, before nudging the ball home.

Note – Hatem Ben Arfa's effort in the FA Cup against Blackburn was a contender for the list, but the Newcastle man just missed out to this. A tough call to make.

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5. Didier Drogba (Bayern Munich v CHELSEA)

Picture the scene. Chelsea are 1-0 down in the Allianz Arena and the stadium is bouncing. Bayern Munich are on the cusp of winning the Champions League trophy on their own turf.

With two minutes to go Juan Mata floats in a corner from the right. Everything seems to stand still as the ball drops in towards the near post. Everything that is, except Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea striker leaps for the ball and sends a venomous header in at the near post in front of the Blue corner of the stadium. To get so much power into the ball from such an awkward position makes this one of the finest headers of all time – before you even forgetting the circumstances.

An honourable mention goes to Ramires, Drogba's team-mate whose superbly weighted lob against Barcelona in the semi-final earned the Blues passage to Munich.

4. Philippe Mexes (AC MILAN v Anderlecht)

Philippe Mexes is supposed to be a defender. So how on earth did this happen

AC Milan were beating Anderlecht 1-0 in the Champions League when the centre-back doubled the lead with something a little bit special.

The Frenchman chested Riccardo Montolivio's ball away from goal and then flipped it accurately into the top corner with a precisely executed overhead-kick.

Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani waxed lyrical about the strike, and said: 'If Leo Messi had scored that, every news channel around the world would show it and he'd have been made a saint tonight!'

He's probably right.

3. Miroslav Stoch (FENERBAHCE v Genclerbirligi)

He's not the biggest name on the list, but he scored one of the finest goals.

Bringing to mind Zinedine Zidane's Champions League final volley and Paul Scholes' effort against Aston Villa, Fenerbahce winger Miroslav Stoch made Turkish league opponents Genclerbirligi pay.

Stoch stayed cool to pull the trigger on a 25-yard volley which swerved away from the goalkeeper and zipped in to the top corner.

This goal has been nominated for the FIFA Puskas award, along with Neymar's effort. At the Ballon d'Or ceremony on January 7 the winner will be revealed.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN v England)

This is certainly the most famous goal of 2012.

Yes, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic's simply ridiculous propeller kick against England, which also happened to be his fourth goal of the game.

He defied gravity as he tossed his 6ft 4 frame into the sky with abandon, to caress the ball sweetly into the net.

There's an arguement to be made that Mexes' effort was trickier because he had a goalkeeper to beat – here Hart is in no-man's land – but this is from further out and far more awkward to hit.

The Swedish superstar had, until this friendly which his side won 4-2, previously been maligned by a fair few people on British soil, who thought he was over-rated and arrogant (OK, so the last part is still true).

This incredible goal was the cherry on the cake which he gleefully stuffed down the gaping mouths of his detractors.

1 Papiss Cisse (Chelsea v NEWCASTLE)

On a cold spring evening in May, Papiss Cisse warmed the cockles of Newcastle's travelling fans and delighted football fans the world over with this simply stupendous effort.

With one momentous swing of his right boot, he destroyed Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League through a top four finish and secured himself a place in every 'Greatest Goals' DVD release between now and the end of time.

Every time you watch his outrageous volley, which spins past the thoroughly bewildered Petr Cech, it just gets better and better.

Perhaps the previously lethal Senegal striker decided he could never top this because it seems like he's stopped trying this season. You could forgive him, because this would be the highlight of anybody's career.

Alex McLeish: I"ll win over Nottingham Forest fans with positive results

I'll banish negative reputation with positive results, insists McLeish after Forest fans' backlash against new boss

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alex McLeish mounted a sterling defence of his managerial methods as he countered criticism that his appointment is a backward step for Nottingham Forest.

The Scot returned to the game following an eight-month absence after his sacking by Aston Villa, struggling to shake off the perception that he was a negative coach.

Social networking sites were awash with opposition to his arrival but the former Rangers coach brushed aside suggestions that he would dismantle what Sean O'Driscoll had left behind.

I'm in charge: Alex McLeish poses with a Nottingham Forest shirt at the City Ground on Friday

I'm in charge: Alex McLeish poses with a Nottingham Forest shirt at the City Ground on Friday

'I am an organised coach,' said the erstwhile protege of Sir Alex Ferguson. 'I can't apologise for that. I think people might be confusing the issue.

'I could have nine positives on my CV and one negative and some people would point out the negative.

'Winning games will help get the fans behind me. It's not as if I'm Jose Mourinho walking in here and it's a unanimously popular decision.

'Some of the fans may not be with me but if we win games and play the kind of football that they produced against Leeds, there's no reason why we cannot get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

'The situation here is simple. If it ain't broke, why fix it We have a good bunch of players playing good football.

'What I've got to do is brainwash these guys into have winning mentalities.

Back on the training pitch: McLeish on Friday morning during his first session as Forest boss

Back on the training pitch: McLeish on Friday morning during his first session as Forest boss

'You don't do that by winning against Leeds, then losing the next game. That means winning against Leeds, then winning the game after that…and the one after that.

'I think there is a few players in our dressing-room who are capable of that.'

McLeish has agreed a one-year rolling contract with Forest and his assistant at Villa Park, Peter Grant, will be joining him at the City Ground.

His brief is to 'mount a very serious challenge' and, in fairness to the Scot, it was not his fault that O'Driscoll was making a decent fist of that before the axe fell on Boxing Day.

McLeish said that the job was a 'wonderful opportunity' but that he needed a break after an horrific end to his stay at Villa Park. A text reading 'Welcome back to the asylum' from Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy was received with a smile.

Unwanted reputation: The former Scotland boss is ready to prove certain disapproving fans wrong

Unwanted reputation: The former Scotland boss is ready to prove certain disapproving fans wrong

'It was a difficult job at Villa but one I met head on,' he said, 'It was great to get over the line despite the catalogue of horrors we had there.

'It had been draining. I was on a bit of a downer after leaving Birmingham.

'But I don't regret it. It's just that the glove maybe didn't fit.

'It wasn't easy at Villa. It's not easy to turn that club around overnight with a few changes. Paul (Lambert) is maybe finding that. It's been a roller-coaster for him.

'But that's in the past now as far as I'm concerned. I'm at Nottingham Forest now and I couldn't be more delighted with that.'

Alex McLeish – 10 reasons why he"s the RIGHT man for Nottingham Forest

Angry Forest fans, read this… 10 reasons why Alex McLeish is the RIGHT man for your club

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UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alex McLeish has faced a backlash from many Nottingham Forest fans after being appointed to replace sacked Sean O'Driscoll.

After troubles with Birmingham and Aston Villa, it's fair to say not every Forest supporter has welcomed him back to the Midlands' football scene.

Here, Sportsmail offers up 10 reasons why he is a good fit for the ambitious Championship side…

First day at the office: McLeish has run the rules over his new players

First day at the office: McLeish has run the rules over his new players

1 Wealth of experience – you do not manage Motherwell, Hibernian, Glasgow Rangers, the Scotland national team, Birmingham City and Aston Villa in a managerial career spanning almost two decades unless you know your way around football.

2 He knows what is needed to win promotion – he did it with Hibernian in Scotland and Birmingham CIty in England.

3 Good contacts – Sir Alex Ferguson gave McLeish very public backing when he took over at Villa Park. It may only need one or two crucial additions for Forest to reach the top six – or better.

4 Players like him. Upon his appointment last night, both Ben Foster and Liam Ridgewell – who both played under McLeish at St Andrew's – immediately went on twitter to add their voices to the chorus of well-wishers.

Big fan: Ben Foster tweeted his admiration for McLeish after the news

Big fan: Ben Foster tweeted his admiration for McLeish after the news

5 He will receive more time than Sean O'Driscoll because he is a man chosen specifically for the post by the Kuwaiti owners.

McLeish targets promotion

McLeish oversaw his first training session and spoke to the press after being formally unveiled as the new Forest boss today.

He said: 'It looks like an absolutely wonderful challenge for me. It's been a whirlwind for me. A surprise but a very welcome surprise.

'We have to target getting into the top six – then we will be gunning for the Premier League.

'I took both jobs (at Birmingham and Aston Villa) when those clubs were in difficulty. The goal was to guide both to safety. And I was pleased that we got Villa over the line despite the horrors of that season.

'The key to success in this league is winning a succession of games. We did that at Birmingham and got back at the first time of asking.

'Everyone should be bursting to get back into the Premier League.'

6 He will have learnt from his experience at Villa Park which, frankly, was an unmitigated disaster for all concerned.

7 He is hungry for success. He needs another chance to re-establish his credentials.

McLeish is a proud man and won't want the Aston Villa experience to be his epitaph in football.

8 He's leaner! During his time out of the game he hired a personal trainer to get himself fit for action once more.

9 He
will uphold Forest's traditions, certainly off the pitch. He was a good
ambassador both at Birmingham City and Aston Villa. Club staff will
like him.

10 Forest's
fans are a reasonable bunch, they will give him a chance.

McLeish's
style is first and foremost to protect what he has got – it might lead
to more conservative football but it is more likely to be winning
football. And that, ultimately, is what he has been employed to bring to
Nottingham Forest.

The future's bright: Forest are aiming to reach the Premier League

The future's bright: Forest are aiming to reach the Premier League

Alex McLeish appointed Nottingham Forest manager

Forest fans vent anger as McLeish lands manager's job ahead of Di Matteo just ONE day after O'Driscoll axing

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UPDATED:

23:18 GMT, 27 December 2012

ROUGH JUSTICE

Read Joe Ridge's Football League Blog for his opinion on Sean O'Driscoll's sacking just five months into the job

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 tomorrow and will take charge of Saturday's npower Championship encounter with Crystal Palace at the City Ground.

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

Wanted: McLeish has been out of a job since he was sacked as manager of Aston Villa on the final day of last season

Wanted: McLeish has been out of a job since he was sacked as manager of Aston Villa on the final day of last season

'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.'

'I'm delighted to welcome Alex to our
club and look forward to working with him,' Forest chairman Fawaz Al
Hasawi added.

'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.

Shock: Roberto Di Matteo was a surprise contender for the Forest job

Shock: Roberto Di Matteo was a surprise contender for the Forest job

Missing out Roy Keane was in the stands for the match against Leeds United at the City Ground

Missing out Roy Keane was in the stands for the match against Leeds United at the City Ground

News of McLeish's appointment was met with a lukewarm reception in Nottingham.

A local newspaper poll ran a list of
candidates in the wake of O'Driscoll's shock exit and McLeish
received no votes by way of support.

A number of supporters also took to Twitter to voice their frustration after being linked
with the likes of Roy Keane and Roberto Di Matteo, who lifted the Champions League
trophy with Chelsea last season.

Clency
Lebrasse ‏(@Clency) posted: 'McLeish McLeish Is this a joke! Why
are forest raiding the brummie poundland for a boss Such an anti-climax
after hopes of a big name.

Harsh Sean O'Driscoll was sacked after Forest beat Leeds 4-2

Harsh Sean O'Driscoll was sacked after Forest beat Leeds 4-2

Ruthless: (From l-r) Fawaz Al-Hasawi, Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi and Omar Al-Hasawi are determined to reach the Premier League

Ruthless: (From l-r) Fawaz Al-Hasawi, Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi and Omar Al-Hasawi are determined to reach the Premier League

A RUTHLESS REGIME

New manager Alex McLeish may not feel too secure in his new position with how the Al-Hasawi family have treated his predecessors.

The Kuwaiti-based owners sacked Steve
Cotterill just two days after taking control of the club in July 2012.

Cotterill survived just nine months at Forest.

Sean O'Driscoll, who was sacked after a convincing win against Leeds on Boxing Day, parted ways with Nottingham Forest after joining the club five months earlier from Crawley Town.

Ben
List ‏(@ACosmicHobo) added:'McLeish is a boring dour man who plays dour
boring football. They'll be no more 4-2s at the City Ground this year
🙁 #nffc'

Nick Pickard ‏(@nickp210) said:
'Don't understand the appointment of Alex Mcleish, why would you get rid
of O'Driscoll for him. We will be going back to hoof ball again'

Simon
Ackrill ‏(@simon_ackrill) was slightly more positive, adding: 'Not the
biggest fan of mcleish but we've certainly appointed worse! Just gotta
get behind the team and the new gaffa #COYR #nffc'

Ex-Chelsea chief Di Matteo
was the most popular choice but the former Italy international is
believed to be holding out for a post in the Premier League.

McLeish, who left Aston Villa under a cloud after fans reacted angrily to the former Birmingham boss' poor run of results, has remained in good shape and hopes to catapult his new club into the Premier League, a feat he performed with Birmingham City in the 2008-09 campaign.

Derided: McLeish left Aston Villa under a cloud after a poor run of form

Derided: McLeish left Aston Villa under a cloud after a poor run of form

Derided: McLeish left Aston Villa under a cloud after a poor run of form