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Forest owner denies first-team interference

Nottingham Forest owner and chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi has denied interfering in team affairs.

Since the Kuwaiti businessman’s family took control at the Championship club in the off-season, four different managers have been in charge, with Billy Davies appointed on Thursday.

Al-Hasawi said both Sean O’Driscoll and Alex McLeish had done a good job at Forest, and dismissed suggestions he tried to manage the team.

“Some people think that me as a chairman, I interfere with the manager. This is wrong, totally wrong,” he said.

“If I’m going to interfere I wouldn’t bring in Billy Davies. He is a strong manager. He’s tough so you cannot interfere in his job.

“I never interfered with Sean or Alex. This is not my job. I am a chairman and owner – not manager. Sometimes we sit and talk after the game about what happened and this is normal.”

Al-Hasawi was delighted to welcome Davies back to the club, with the 48-year-old having led Derby County to promotion to the English Premier League in the 2006-07 Championship season.

“He’s one of the good managers we have in the Championship. He knows Nottingham Forest very well,” he said.

“He was coaching them two years ago and been with them twice in the playoffs. He took Derby to the Premier League. He was with Preston and took them twice to the playoffs, so he’s a good manager.

“He knows what to do. He knows the league very well. He knows our club very well, the players. The fans like him a lot. I wish we could do something with him to reach the next level.”

While the regular sacking of managers might be a sign of impatience at Forest, Al-Hasawi said they were still on track.

“We said when we bought the club that there was a plan of three to five years but that doesn’t mean we will not play for this season,” he said.

“We will try our best to gain promotion this season, but we are on track in our plan.”

Fri 8 February, 2013
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