Adkins favourite to take over at Forest as McLeish walks out

Feb 5, 2013

Unpopular with fans and already falling out with club's owners, Alex McLeish quits after only 40 days

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FORMER Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is favourite to become the new manager of Nottingham Forest as the club embarks on a search for a sixth manager in less than two seasons, following the shock departure of Alex McLeish after just 40 days in charge.

The Scot walked out of the City Ground on Tuesday after days of speculation over his future. Rumours that he was unhappy began to circulate after a series of bungled deals by the club owners on transfer deadline day.

The BBC claims that a failed attempt to sign Peterborough midfielder George Boyd was the final straw. "[McLeish] thought he had him for £500,000 but then the owners pulled out. Having passed a medical the owners said he had an eye problem so they would not be proceeding with it. McLeish thought that was ridiculous."

The Times reports that McLeish "exchanged some heated words with [club chairman] Fawaz Al-Hasawi" and in a statement today the manager said that there had been a "difference in the understanding" of how the club was being run.

"Nottingham Forest's season has descended into farce," said The Guardian, adding that the news came as "no surprise".

Forest fans were perplexed when the al-Hasawi family fired manager Sean O'Driscoll on Boxing Day, hours after his team had beaten Leeds to close in on the play-off places. But they were furious when McLeish, who won few admirers when he managed Birmingham and Aston Villa, was appointed in his place.

Under McLeish, Forest won once in seven games and slipped to 11th place in the Championship table. Last weekend they were beaten by McLeish's old club, Birmingham, and Chris Burke, another of the players Forest tried and failed to sign in January, scored both goals against them.

McLeish's reign of 40 days is one of the shortest ever and eclipses former Forest legend Brian Clough's 44-day stay at Leeds in the 1970s.

Adkins, who was fired by Southampton last month, is now 3-1 favourite to take over, says Two other managers who were in the frame for the job back in December, Roy Keane and Roberto Di Matteo, are also in the running.

Former Forest boss Billy Davies, who guided the club into the play-offs two seasons running, is also out of work and a 10-1 shot. Former Bolton manager Owen Coyle has also been linked to the job along with Mark Hughes and Paolo Di Canio.

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