Indian-owned Blackburn fire manager, Forest name McLeish

Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:56am IST

Blackburn Rovers' joint owner Balaji Rao (L) of Venky's Ltd gestures at a soccer match in Blackburn, northern England February 2, 2011. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/Files

Blackburn Rovers' joint owner Balaji Rao (L) of Venky's Ltd gestures at a soccer match in Blackburn, northern England February 2, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis/Files

REUTERS - Blackburn Rovers sacked Henning Berg on Thursday after only 57 days and 10 games in charge, becoming the second manager to depart a foreign-owned English Championship (second division) club in the space of a few hours.

The Norwegian was axed by Blackburn's Indian owners after a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Wednesday, their fifth loss in six games which left the club languishing in 17th place. Under Berg, Blackburn won just once.

Berg's dismissal followed hot on the heels of Sean O'Driscoll's departure from Nottingham Forest with the Kuwaiti-owned former European champions sacking the Irishman late on Wednesday, hours after they had beaten Leeds United 4-2 at home.

Forest announced on their website on Thursday that former Scotland, Rangers, Birmingham City and Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish had been appointed as manager.

"Alex took Birmingham to promotion from the Championship and has great experience of working in the Premier League," Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said of a man sacked by faltering top-flight side Villa at the end of last term.

"He's hungry for more success and I believe he's the man who can help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League."

O'Driscoll was sacked by Forest despite the club sitting in eighth place, one point away from the top six and a potential playoff berth.

Berg, who won the Premier League as a Blackburn player in 1995, was appointed on October 31 after the resignation of predecessor Steve Kean at the end of September following relegation from the top flight and months of angry protests from fans.

Supporters have long been venting their frustration at Indian owners Venky's although the team topped the second tier before Kean's exit.

Blackburn said on their website (www.rovers.co.uk) that 43-year-old Berg, assistant Eric Black, first-team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms had all been fired.

"This decision has been taken following a very disappointing sequence of results," the statement read.

Venky's director Balaji Rao told the Times of India newspaper: "We have not been doing well and dropping points and losing matches quite often. I want to go up."

(Reporting by Alastair Himmer in Tokyo and Tom Pilcher in London; Editing by Justin Palmer)

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