Sean O'Driscoll sacking harsh but Nottingham Forest will show Alex McLeish's gritty character, says Derby County boss Nigel Clough
NIGEL Clough felt Sean O'Driscoll's dismissal as Nottingham Forest manager last month was harsh.
O'Driscoll had been in charge only five months when he was shown the door hours after the 4-2 home victory over Leeds United on Boxing Day.
Forest have now turned to former Aston Villa and Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish.
The Scot is the fifth different Forest manager Clough has faced in the last five games between the two clubs. O'Driscoll, Steve Cotterill, Steve McClaren and Billy Davies the other four.
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"That is a staggering stat," said Clough ahead of tomorrow's Championship clash against Forest at Pride Park Stadium.
He added: "I sat with Sean at Birmingham's game against Leeds on Tuesday night. He was disappointed about what happened at Forest. He has got another chance at Bristol City, which is great for him, but it seemed very harsh.
"We don't really comment on other clubs' business but from a personal point of view it did seem harsh on Sean.
"I don't think he felt they were far away but it's just this demand for instant success that seems to be running through the game.
"Whether it is the rewards at the end of it, the Premiership money which is astronomical again if you get promoted this season.
"Everybody is striving for that but they want it instantly. Football doesn't work like that."
Now McLeish has the reins at Forest and Clough expects the Scot to have stamped his mark on the team already.
"I am expecting them to be resilient because the character of the side will be how he (McLeish) played," said Clough.
"As a player, he put his head on everything. He was a brave centre-half, so we expect some of those characteristics to come to the fore.
"Also the quality. We play Blackburn the week after and when you look at the two teams on paper – and we'll try not too – the quality stands out, as does the Premier League experience that both teams have."
Forest will be under orders to secure the bragging rights for their fans tomorrow – from both manager and owner of the club.
McLeish and Fawaz Al Hasawi have spoken of the importance of beating Derby.
"What do I know about these games? I know that this is very important," said the Kuwaiti.
"I know that they won in the first game this season, so we would like to pay them back for that.
"We want to win this game. I know it is important for the fans. I will be here for it and I hope we get the right result.
"I respect Derby as a team. If we lose, that is football but I can promise that we are going to do everything in our power to win."