Happy New Year 2018

Mark Warburton: Nottingham Forest sack manager after nine months in charge

Mark Warburton led Brentford to promotion from League One in 2013-14 and the Championship play-offs in the following season

Championship side Nottingham Forest have sacked manager Mark Warburton after nine months at the City Ground.

Forest have also sacked assistant David Weir while director of football Frank McParland has left the club.

Academy manager Gary Brazil will take over at Forest as their caretaker manager while they find a replacement.

Former Rangers boss Warburton, 55, was appointed in March on a two-and-a-half-year deal and helped Forest narrowly avoid relegation last season.

Warburton’s final interview as Forest manager

“David and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players for their hard work and efforts since we joined,” Warburton said in a statement released through the League Managers’ Association.

“The team has made significant progress since avoiding relegation at the end of last season and we look forward to seeing this young squad continue to improve.”

Warburton, Weir and McParland were all appointed towards the end of Fawaz Al Hasawi’s ownership of the club and two months before a takeover by Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis in May.

Forest, 14th in the table, have won one of their past seven league games and lost 1-0 at home to Sunderland on Saturday.

The side have lost 14 times in the league so far this term, the joint second-highest number of defeats in the Championship this season.

McParland joined Forest in March shortly before Warburton’s arrival, having previously worked alongside him at Brentford, where he was sporting director.

The 58-year-old had also worked with Warburton at Rangers as the Scottish Premiership side’s head of recruitment.

Analysis

BBC Radio Nottingham’s Robin Chipperfield:

“Unacceptable” was how Mark Warburton described much of the performance against Sunderland on Saturday, and it seems as though the owners of the club agreed.

While there’s been progress from a club that stayed in the Championship on goal difference in May, it seems as though the progress has not been as quick or obvious as those in charge wanted.

Warburton blooded plenty of young players, and gave them a good run in the side – something that Forest fans love, but there were often question marks about whether he was playing many of them in the right position. The style of play, which fizzed at times earlier in the season, looked aimless in home defeats to Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday.

Despite a very strong statement from the club chairman at the start of the season, which insisted that Warburton would be “given the precious commodity of time,” it has felt like the ground was beginning to shift over the past couple of weeks and that maybe all was not well. The opening of the January transfer window – and the question of whether to give Warburton the backing to strengthen – might have hastened his departure.

So where next? Gary Brazil again takes charge in the short term, though it seems as though a new managerial appointment is not far away. Aitor Karanka and Garry Monk are high up in the bookmakers odds, while Roy Keane was apparently at the game on Saturday, though may have been watching the Irish contingent amongst his former clubs.

Many fans would suspect a continental appointment, given the background of the clubs owners, or could the club look down the EFL and plump for a manager impressing at a lower level – the likes of Nathan Jones/Paul Hart, Gary Bowyer, or Danny Cowley. It seems certain that a new man will be in charge for the FA Cup tie against Arsenal.

What is certain is that at some point, Forest are going to have to identify, back and stick with a manager if they want to return to the Premier League, where they’ve not been for nearly 20 years.