McClaren comes in from the cold to take reins at Forest

Manager sets sights on spot in top flight after Davies sacked for play-off failures

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The Independent Online

Steve McClaren will be announced as the new Nottingham Forest manager this morning – marking his return to management in England after his time in charge of the national team ended in November 2007 with failure to qualify for Euro 2008.



Forest announced that they had dismissed Billy Davies yesterday and a deal for McClaren was completed promptly. The 50-year-old is understood to have impressed the Forest chairman Nigel Doughty and McClaren was appointed less than a week after he was passed over for the Aston Villa job, having initially been a prime candidate.

Since he was sacked by the Football Association following his England team's 3-2 defeat to Croatia at Wembley three-and-a-half years ago, McClaren has won a Dutch title with FC Twente, who offered him a considerably bigger deal to return this season. However, it has always been McClaren's long-term aim to return to English football and he regards Forest as a club capable of fulfilling his ambition to get back into the Premier League.

It was the stigma of McClaren's failure with England that put Villa off appointing him, but Forest had no such qualms, concluding the deal swiftly after their first meeting with McClaren. In his last two jobs, at Twente and then at Wolfsburg in Germany's Bundesliga last season, McClaren has worked with the clubs' existing backroom staff, although this time he may well bring in his own assistant.

His last season as a club manager in English football was 2005-06 with Middlesbrough when they reached the Uefa Cup final and lost 4-0 to Seville. Forest finished sixth in the Championship last season and lost in the play-off semi-finals to Swansea City. Davies' difficult relationship with the club's board always made it unlikely he would survive the summer.

Davies, who had been in charge at Forest since January 2009, frequently complained about what he said was a lack of resources in the transfer market. It is anticipated that McClaren will be allocated funds to push for promotion next season with Forest one of the favourites outside of the relegated teams.

It is McClaren's first experience of managing a club outside the top-flight of any of the three countries he has worked in. He made his name as assistant to Jim Smith at Derby County before Sir Alex Ferguson appointed him as his assistant at Manchester United in 1999.

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