Kinnear to end retirement and replace Hart at Forest

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Joe Kinnear is ready to come out of semi-retirement and answer the call to become Nottingham Forest's new manager.

Kinnear will be offered the job at the First Division strugglers and should be installed in the next 48 hours as the chairman, Nigel Doughty, acts fast to replace Paul Hart. The curtain dropped on Hart's two-and-a-half-year reign after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Coventry, Forest's 14th successive First Division game without a win.

Doughty wanted Glenn Hoddle, but Forest's decision to let Hart carry on has made the job a tougher challenge than the former Spurs manager fancies for his return to management. But Kinnear is keen to come back after leaving Luton.

The former Wimbledon manager, who suffered a heart scare in his prime, is restless outside of football and thinks the chance to take on Forest is too good to miss. Kinnear has a reputation for saving lost causes, beginning with Wimbledon in their Premiership days, and continued on at Luton where he took the side to promotion.

In a statement on the Forest website, Doughty said of Kinnear: "When he took over at Wimbledon in 1992 they were bottom of the Premiership and went on to not only consolidate the club's position in the top flight but he also took them to three cup semi-finals.

"He also had tremendous success at Luton who he took to promotion in his first full season before they were gripped by financial and ownership problems.

"I think I am right in saying that outside of Sir Alex Ferguson, he has won more Manager of the Month awards than anyone else.

"During his time at Wimbledon he was a key figure in developing a lot of talented young players who have become household names in football, and everyone knows how much emphasis we place on the Academy at Nottingham Forest.

"He's also an inspirational and charismatic figure and his popularity with the supporters at his previous clubs speaks volumes for the job he's done."

Forest is perfect for someone who likes to take on ailing sides with prospects; their young players can be improved and sold to balance the books. Kinnear was a shrewd mover in the transfer market at Wimbledon, where he bought cheaply and sold expensively, and Forest will need one or two bargains to get them out of relegation trouble.

Kinnear will be more prepared to wheel and deal than Hart, who was unhappy that Forest had tried to sell Andy Reid and Michael Dawson at the start of their slump.

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