Keane set to return at old club Forest to replace O'Driscoll after watching his final win over Leeds
08:31 GMT, 27 December 2012
Roy Keane is the frontrunner to become the new Nottingham Forest boss.
Sean O'Driscoll was rewarded for
Forest’s Boxing Day thrashing of Leeds with the sack, leaving the
Championship club looking for their fifth manager in four years.
The Kuwaiti owners, who appointed O’Driscoll in July, just 25 games ago, have decided that he is no longer the man for the job.
Next in line Roy Keane was in the stands as Forest routed Leeds
Sacked: Sean O'Driscoll has left Forest
Forest are one point off the
play-offs but that is not good enough for the Al Hasawi family, who may
now look to former City Ground favourite Keane.
Keane was a spectator as in-form
Leeds were put to the sword and is available for employment after his
failures at Ipswich and Sunderland.
the Al Hasawi family have targeted a manager with Premier League
experience and they have promised him money to buy players next month.
First name on the shopping list should be Billy Sharp, on loan from Southampton and scorer of two goals.
There was not much wrong with any
part of the Forest team against Leeds but getting it right on the day
was still not enough to save O’Driscoll.
When he looks back, nine draws
have probably cost him his job, especially after being allowed to bring
in 11 new players. His record reads: won nine; drawn nine; lost seven.
‘We cannot speak highly enough of
Sean as a man,’ said chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi, before delivering his
‘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.
Hotshot: Sharp's double proved the difference in Forest's victory
‘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 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.’
Spot on: Sharp's penalty brought Forest level
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins, Halford, Cohen, Guedioura, Majewski, Reid, Sharp, Blackstock.
Subs: Darlow, Harding, Gillett, Moussi, McGugan, Cox, Lansbury.
Leeds: Kenny, /12/26/article-2253315-16A7E9C8000005DC-370_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Agony: Leeds players saw Forest overtake them in the Championship table with victory” class=”blkBorder” />
Agony: Leeds players saw Forest overtake them in the Championship table with victory
Not even Leeds boss Neil Warnock
accusing Sharp of diving, under a challenge from Tom Lees, could
detract from an impressive win. But the Leeds boss tempered his
criticism by adding: ‘I don’t blame Billy at all. He always used to get
penalties for me at Sheffield United.
‘He’s going to go down poleaxed for
the penalty. Don’t give them a chance to dive because they are going to
dive and that was the only way they were going to get back into it.
We’ve been mugged. It’s professionalism. If you look at it in slow
motion the kid (Lees) breathes on him. The goal killed us before
half-time and then we were amateurish for seven minutes in the second
Ecstacy: Forest are well-placed to challenge for promotion in the New Year
O’Driscoll countered: ‘Anybody who has seen Billy Sharp knows he’s not someone who dives.
‘We needed that win after the
disappointing performance at Watford. Billy was a bit under the weather
too but he’s made his name scoring goals.’
Forest went a goal down to Paul Green’s scruffy effort but were level just before half-time when Sharp scored the penalty.
Three goals in seven second-half
minutes by Sharp, a Rodolph Austin own goal and a Dexter Blackstock
header, gave Forest a deserved win. Not enough to save O’Driscoll,