Football - Forest begin search for new manager

Nottingham Forest have begun their search for a fifth manager in a little under seven months after Alex McLeish parted company with the club.

McLeish left by mutual consent following mounting speculation about his future at the City Ground after only 40 days in charge. The Scot was left frustrated after missing out on several transfer targets last month - most notably Peterborough winger George Boyd whose move to the east midlands was scuppered by a failed eye test.

Reports of disagreements behind the scenes with the club's Kuwaiti owners, the Al-Hasawi family, were also rife. And a bad week for McLeish was capped on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at his former club Birmingham, where both Blues goals were scored by another player he tried to sign - Chris Burke.

McLeish, who replaced Sean O'Driscoll as manager on December 27, said via a statement on the club's official website, nottinghamforest.co.uk: "I am extremely saddened to be leaving after such a short period.

"But even so, it has been a privilege to be manager of such a fantastic football club and I want to thank the players, staff and fans for their support and wish Nottingham Forest the best of fortunes ahead.

"Both parties entered into the relationship in good faith. However, there was a difference in the understanding of the development strategy of the football club and it was felt by both parties that we should part company."

When the Al-Hasawis completed their takeover of the club on July 10, 2012 they outlined a three-year vision to get Forest back into the Barclays Premier League.

They began by sacking Steve Cotterill, who had just saved the club from relegation from the npower Championship, within days of their arrival.

O'Driscoll, who coached under former boss Steve McClaren at Forest, was brought back as number one but sacked on Boxing Day after a 4-2 home win over Leeds which left the Reds just one point adrift of the play-off places.

The surprising decision to sack O'Driscoll was followed by the Kuwaiti's stating their intent to appoint a manager with Premier League experience. Former Birmingham and Aston Villa boss McLeish was hired the next day but the Scot, in a brief 40-day tenure, won only one of his seven matches in charge and lost five.