Alex McLeish admits Nottingham Forest job came as a 'surprise'

Former Aston Villa manager is not a popular choice among fans

Alex McLeish admits his appointment as Nottingham Forest boss was a whirlwind but also a welcome surprise.

Sean O'Driscoll, only in the job five months, was given the boot by Forest's Kuwaiti owners on Wednesday night, just hours after their 4-2 Boxing Day victory over Leeds had left them eighth in the npower Championship - just one point off the play-off places.

Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi quickly stated he had made contact with a Premier League manager that evening and had planned a meeting for Thursday, with McLeish duly appointed last night and unveiled to the media this afternoon.

The Scot said: "It is a terrific opportunity to come to a club of Nottingham Forest's magnitude.

"It is always nice to get a job (like this) because normally you are waiting on somebody maybe in a bit of difficulty. And it is not the case with this job. It looks an absolutely wonderful challenge for me.

"It has been a whirlwind and a surprise but a very welcome surprise."

McLeish, 53, enjoyed a welcome break after being sacked by Aston Villa at the end of last season, bringing the curtain down on a difficult spell at the Barclays Premier League which ultimately ended with their top-flight survival.

McLeish admits his time at Villa Park came amid "a catalogue of horrors" but that he was ready to get back into the game.

The former Scotland boss revealed he was offered a couple of posts, even some abroad in the past week or so, but that they were not the right challenge.

He now takes up a 12-month rolling contract at The City Ground, but the reaction of Forest fans - albeit nowhere near the scale of Villa supporters following his cross-city switch from fierce rivals Birmingham - has not been one filled with joy.

McLeish is fully aware of that and knows the only way to get fans fully on board is by winning games.

However, his hopes of doing that tomorrow could be dashed with Forest's home clash against Crystal Palace subject to a 9.30am pitch inspection due to a waterlogged playing surface.

"Winning games is obviously something that helps to get fans behind you," he said.

"I know that in any given job...it is not as if I'm Jose Mourinho walking in here and it is a unanimously popular decision. At times you have to realise that some of the fans are maybe not with you but if you win games and you can play the kind of football they produced against Leeds in the second half the other day there is no reason we can't get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet."

Other figures connected with Forest and McLeish have also today wished him well.

Fellow Scot Paul Lambert, who succeeded him in the hot seat at Villa, said: "It (Forest) is a massive club with history, it's huge.

"Alex has been in the game longer than I have, the management side, and done well. You wish him good luck in his next job."

Meanwhile, Manchester City assistant manager David Platt, who led the Reds himself between 1999 and 2001, added: "It's certainly a club that could go in the right direction.

"What they did years and years and years ago in winning European Cups is not repeatable for a small club but it is a Premier League club in everything but status."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee