In Depth

Nottingham Forest sack Pearce as Psycho's return sours

Club legend replaced by Dougie Freedman after just seven months and a run of one win in 11 games

Former Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce has left his job as manager after just seven months at the City Ground, after another home defeat, this time to Millwall, left the Reds with a dire return of three wins in 23 matches and only one win in the last 11.

Although Forest started the season at a gallop their dismal run has seen them drift closer to a relegation place than a play-off berth.

Forest owner Fawaz al-Hasawi described the decision to relieve Pearce of his duties as "the hardest footballing decision I have ever made", although he has offered Pearce, who played for the midlands club for 12 years an advisory role.

However, the Daily Telegraph believes Pearce will now "sever his links with Forest for good".

"Al-Hasawi has been considering Pearce's position for weeks, following the dismal FA Cup exit to Rochdale, and it was only a victory at Derby County – the club Pearce once admitted he would rather 'go on the dole' than play for – which spared him from an earlier exit," says the paper.

Pearce's return to Nottingham brought "sorely needed togetherness" to Forest after the "poisonous" reign of Billy Davies, says the paper, but results were not good enough to keep him in the job. And defeat to Millwall on Saturday prompted the "excruciating" decision to sack Pearce.

Many Forest fans expressed anger on social media after the sacking of the man they call 'Psycho', but the team had disintegrated in recent weeks. "Injuries to key players Andy Reid and Chris Cohen — captain and vice-captain respectively — have not helped Forest's... spectacular collapse but the malaise at the City Ground clearly extends beyond the treatment room," says The Times.

Pearce is the fifth manager to be sacked by Hasawi since the Kuwaiti took over in 2012, and next into the hot seat is another, less illustrious, former Forest player; Dougie Freedman.

"Freedman, who played for Forest between 1998 and 2000, has previously managed in the Championship with Crystal Palace and Bolton. His spell at Bolton ended by mutual consent in October after one victory in ten matches," notes The Guardian.

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