Mark Warburton: Nottingham Forest appoint former Rangers boss as manager

Mark Warburton
Mark Warburton led Rangers to promotion as Scottish Championship champions last season and also won the Scottish Challenge Cup

Nottingham Forest have appointed former Rangers boss Mark Warburton as manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Warburton, 54, has been out of work since leaving Rangers on 10 February, with the club claiming he had resigned.

Championship side Forest had been under interim boss Gary Brazil after sacking Philippe Montanier on 14 January.

"It's a pleasure, a privilege. We recognise the job we have, we know where we are and the games coming up," Warburton told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"Fans have been reared on success, big European success, so we're very conscious of that, we know what we need to do, and we hope they see progress."

Warburton is joined at the City Ground by ex-Scotland international defender David Weir, 46, who was assistant manager at Rangers.

A baptism of fire?

Forest are 19th in the Championship, having lost five of their last seven matches, and face fierce local rivals Derby County at home on Saturday.

"We are where we are in the table," Warburton added. "We need to secure the points we need for safety, and then our job has to be to look at the squad and to have a strong pre-season.

"We're well aware of the situation, but the immediate focus has to be Derby."

Gary Rowett was appointed Rams manager earlier on Tuesday, meaning it will be the fifth consecutive East Midlands derby with a different manager in charge of both clubs.

Forest-Derby graphic

Academy boss Brazil, who won four of his 11 games, along with under-23 team coach Jack Lester, had been asked to stay until the end of the season, but Warburton will now be in place for their final nine games.

He is Forest's eighth manager since owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi purchased the club in July 2012.

Warburton was appointed by Rangers in 2015 after two seasons as Brentford boss, but left the Scottish Premiership side last month when the club said they had accepted his resignation.

Londoner Warburton denied standing down and the League Managers Association in Scotland has said the fall-out is bad for the game and could be "messy".

Analysis

BBC Nottingham's Nottingham Forest correspondent Colin Fray

Mark Warburton becoming the next Forest manager doesn't come as a surprise, though coming just weeks after Gary Brazil was named as manager until the end of the season, the timing does.

Perhaps the suddenness of the relegation zone being only two points away, rather than the five or six points distant it was before the weekend has hastened the decision, but after Frank McParland was appointed director of football earlier this month, Warburton following him at some point seemed inevitable.

McParland has worked with Warburton at both Brentford and Rangers - the two managerial positions Warburton has held so far in his career.

Warburton has had success in his first seasons in charge at those other clubs, and he needs to hit the City Ground running, too. There are nine games to go, and he could not have a bigger game to start with. A win over Derby would get fans behind him quicker than anything else. That support could be vital in the Reds' continuing relegation battle.

Whatever happens over the next few weeks, though, Warburton and McParland need something other Forest managers haven't been afforded over recent years - and that's time. Warburton and his assistant David Weir have signed two-and-a-half-year contracts. The club could be in a much better place if they're allowed to see those contracts out.

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