Kinnear signs up with mission to haul Forest out of the mire

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The Independent Football

Nottingham Forest have confirmed the appointment of Joe Kinnear as the club's new manager, with the 57-year-old to formally assume control at the City Ground today.

The Forest chairman, Nigel Doughty sacked the previous manager, Paul Hart, following Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Coventry, the club's 14th-successive First Division match without a victory.

Doughty immediately targeted Kinnear as the first-choice replacement and after negotiations were concluded in London on Monday night, Kinnear yesterday accepted the post.

Kinnear, who has also held managerial posts at Wimbledon and Luton, is expected to be introduced to Forest's players and staff today before being formally unveiled as manager at a press conference.

Forest indicated the 57-year-old former Republic of Ireland international will initially be employed until the end of the season but on a rolling contract basis.

With Forest lying third from bottom, first-team coaches Liam O'Kane and Ian Bowyer have been holding the Forest fort since Hart's departure with Bowyer saying: "We're disappointed and we're surprised we haven't done better, I think that's fair to say. But we understand the reason for it - that it isn't the same team we had when we reached the play-off semi-finals last year.

"And if you add to the equation the fact we've lost our top goalscorer to a broken leg and for long periods of the season we haven't been able to field what many people would consider to be our best defender in Michael Dawson, then our results aren't that surprising.

"If you're a goal short in one penalty area and you've let an odd goal in inside your defensive penalty area then it's going to show in results," Bowyer said.

"But if we can be out of the bottom three by March and April and well clear of it by then, it would be so much the better.

"But were we to be in the bottom three during April and May, it wouldn't be as a result of what happens in April and May but as a result of what we've done over the course of the season.

"I just believe we're not far off getting a win though because there have been signs of encouragement and if we can turn chances into goals then there's very little wrong with us."

Kinnear had been a candidate for Forest boss in 1999 but concerns over his health prompted the board to appoint David Platt instead.

Meanwhile, Hart, the successor to Platt, said:"I enjoyed my time as manager of Nottingham Forest and the entire seven years I worked for the club, particularly in the role of developing some of the talented young players who have gone on to the first team, and I hope to return to management in the near future."