Nottingham Forest tonight appointed their former striker Dougie Freedman as manager barely an hour after they sacked another ex-player, Stuart Pearce, who spent only seven months in charge of the Championship club.
Freedman, who played for Forest between 1998 and 2000 and started his managerial career at Crystal Palace, has been out of work since parting company with Bolton in October. He takes over with immediate effect from Pearce, a former captain who spent 12 years at the club from 1985 to 1997, including a period as caretaker manager.
Pearce had signed a two-year contract in July to take the helm at the twice European champions and led them to the top of the league after seven games.
But he had come under increasing pressure after a run of six defeats in seven games, culminating in a 1-0 home defeat by third-from-bottom Millwall on Saturday.
He has been offered an “advisory role” at the club by the chairman, Fawaz al-Hasawi – a post he is expected to turn down.
Forest lie 12th in the table, 13 points adrift of the play-offs and only seven points above the relegation zone.
“After long discussions between owner and chairman and manager Stuart Pearce, the club has decided that Stuart will be relieved of his role as manager with immediate effect,” a club statement said. “Mr al-Hasawi has offered Stuart an alternative role at the club, which he is currently considering.”
Hasawi last night described the decision to relieve Pearce of his duties as “the hardest footballing decision I have ever made”.
He added: “Unfortunately, recent results convinced me it was best to pursue alternative managerial options. I hope our supporters understand my decision. I have offered him an advisory role at the club, which I sincerely hope he accepts.”
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