Alex McLeish is the new Nottingham Forest manager

Alex McLeish has been appointed the new manager of Nottingham Forest. The 53-year-old has managed Aston Villa, Birmingham and Scotland before replacing Sean O'Driscoll, who was sacked on 26 December after five months in charge at Forest.

"I believe he's the man who can help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League," said Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi. McLeish said: "The fact a club of Forest's magnitude has offered me a job excites me greatly."

The Scot has been out of football since being sacked by Villa at the end of last season after 11 months in charge. "I've had time away from the game and now feel refreshed and ready to go," he added. "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."

A statement on the club website said: "The 53-year-old Scot will begin work at the City Ground on Friday and will be in charge for Saturday's home game against Crystal Palace." McLeish takes over Forest with them in eighth place, having collected 36 points from 24 games.

"I'm delighted to welcome Alex to our Club and look forward to working with him," added chairman Al Hasawi. "Alex took Birmingham to promotion from the Championship and has great experience of working in the Premier League."

O'Driscoll was relieved of his duties hours after a 4-2 Championship win against Leeds that left the club one point off sixth-placed Watford. Al Hasawi had earlier declared that Forest would be "looking to bring in an ambitious manager with Premier League experience", stating that "with the January transfer window approaching, we feel it's the right time to make a change".

Nottingham Forest are priced at 6/1 at Bet365 to win promotion to the Premier League this season, with the favourites being Cardiff, priced at 4/11.

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