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Thursday, December 27, 2012
McLeish joins Keane in Forest frame

Kevin Palmer

Former Birmingham and Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is emerging as a leading contender for the vacancy at Nottingham Forest, according to reports.

Roy Keane is the early favourite to replace Sean O'Driscoll, who was sacked on Wednesday, after the former Manchester United midfielder was spotted at the Boxing Day game against Leeds.

It was claimed that Keane - a hero at Forest having starred for the club under Brian Clough in the early 1990s - was seen in the boardroom after the game, fuelling speculation that his appointment was imminent.

Yet reports on Thursday suggest McLeish and former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo are also being considered by Forest's Kuwaiti owners, as they search for a manager with Premier League experience to lead the club into a new era.

Meanwhile, Forest star Simon Cox was among those who have expressed their shock at O'Driscoll's surprise exit, with the club statement confirming the manager's departure conceding he was unfortunate to be relieved of his duties.

"Sean was appointed at an extremely difficult time for the club and can count himself unlucky to have lost his job, but we have a responsibility to look to the future for this great club because we have huge ambitions for it," the statement read.

"We knew it would take time for the players we brought in to settle, but that process has taken longer than anticipated."

Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi made it clear that he intends to find a more high-profile boss for the club, tweeting on Wednesday: "Made contact with PL [Premier League] manager tonight. Meeting Thursday."

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