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User:rorynoonanDate:27/12/2012Time:12:03:37Edition:27/12/2012ThuEchoThurs271212Page:56Color:

Forest Keane on Roy EE - V1

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Roy Keane is an early favourite to take over at Nottingham Forest after the sacking of Sean O’Driscoll.

Corkman is in line to replace the sacked O’Driscoll ROY KEANE is in line for a shock return to Nottingham Forest as their new manager. Keane was at the City Ground yesterday as his old club beat Neil Warnock’s in-form Leeds 4-2. But Forest stunned their fans hours after the win — which moved them to within a point of the play-off zone — by sacking boss Sean O’Driscoll, who was appointed in July. A statement from Forest owners Abdulaziz Al Hasawi and Fawaz Al Hasawi said: “We are looking for an ambitious manager with Premier League experience. “The timing of our decision may look a little odd after the win over Leeds but sometimes you need to make changes with the long-term future in mind. “Sometimes those changes need to be made from a position of strength rather than weakness and that is what we are trying to do.” Manchester United legend Keane is certainly ambitious and has top-flight experience with Sunderland. But after winning promotion in his first season in charge, Keane was unable to transform the Black Cats into a Premier League force. The 41-year-old parted company with Sunderland in December 2008 and he subsequently struggled to make any impact with Ipswich, who sacked him in January 2011. Despite a successful three-year spell as a player with Forest in the

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SOCCER early 1990s, the prospect of him returning was not welcomed by the club’s fans on social media sites last night. Roberto Di Matteo and Owen Coyle — sacked by Chelsea and Bolton in the last two months — have also been mentioned as contenders. Forest striker Simon Cox, meanwhile, was stunned by the decision to axe O’Driscoll. Cox tweeted: “So we win 4-2 and the manager gets the sack. “Gutted for Sean, pleasure to work under. Wonder who will walk through the door next?” The Al Hasawis also went on to praise O’Driscoll despite astonishing everyone by giving him the boot. They added: “We cannot speak highly enough of Sean as a man. “He was appointed at an extremely difficult time for the club and can count himself unlucky to have lost his job. “But we have a responsibility to look to the future for this great club because we have huge ambitions for it. “We knew it would take time for the players we brought in to settle but that process has taken longer than anticipated.” ● Meanwhile, Henning Berg has been sacked as manager of Blackburn, the npower Championship club confirmed. ● See more soccer on P52-53.

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