Nottingham Forest: Glenn Hoddle, McCarthy, Ferguson in frame

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport

Whether you agree with the decision to replace Steve Cotterill or not, Nottingham Forest's wealthy new owners needed to act swiftly and either sack or back their manager.

The Al Hasawi's preference for option one of the two was hardly a huge surprise.

Former England boss Glenn Hoddle initially emerged as the bookmakers' favourite for the job, but ex-Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson and former Forest midfielder Roy Keane are also candidates.

Although it seems harsh on Cotterill, time was of the essence and the new owners are desperate to bring success back to the City Ground. Like most cash-laden new owners, patience was unlikely to be high on their priority list and they want their own man with a profile big enough to match their lofty ambitions.

The Kuwaiti family have already made their intentions clear as they begin their new venture.

With the new campaign just over a month away and the current squad looking distinctly threadbare, new signings are needed.

Saturday's City Ground news conference, which was announced on Tuesday, could yet see the new manager revealed.

But even if the new man is installed by early next week, he will have a hectic few weeks if a Forest side who only narrowly avoided relegation from the Championship last season are to challenge for promotion this time around.

East Midlands rivals Leicester City can vouch for the fact that new owners with plenty of cash and a new manager with plenty of expensive new players does not guarantee success.

But new faces are needed. Captain Luke Chambers, Joel Lynch and Garath McCleary - all important players in the run-in which played such a huge part in the club's survival - have left.

Optimism before the takeover was in short supply. Not now.

Cotterill's contribution should not be forgotten, but BBC Radio Nottingham's Forest correspondent Colin Fray believes the new owners were always likely to look to bring in a high-profile manager.

"It's no surprise," Fray said. "Most new owners have their own idea and plans. By all accounts they have millions to spend and want to bring in a man who fits with their ambitions.

"Whatever happened, the right thing was to do it quickly. Now the urgency is to get a new man in. I would think they have an idea who that will be and think it will be done quickly.

"The new owners are introducing themselves to the fans on Saturday and it might not be beyond the realms of possibility that they will also reveal the new manager. If they can produce their new man on the day, that would be a grand entrance on to the City Ground stage.

"If he is out of work then it could happen. It would obviously be a lot more tricky if they have to look at compensation with another club.

"But it needs to happen urgently because Forest are starting to fall behind other Championship clubs. They can't afford to hang around.

"They have to strengthen at the back first. It has to be the priority because they only have one senior defender in the shape of Chris Gunter. There are no senior left-backs, although they do have options there. They probably need four of five defenders.

"There are plenty of central midfielders but they need to replace Garath McCleary and although they have an abundance of strikers, many of them were off form last season. If there is plenty of money then Forest are crying out for a 20-goal-a-season forward.

"There is no question that they under-performed last season and lots of other managers said they would like the squad Forest had. With the quality they had there is no doubt they under-achieved.

"It was a messy season. They had a dreadful start and Steve Cotterill had to come in to an awful situation with no money to spend."

Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp looks unlikely to be the man to ensure there is no repeat of that failure.

The man who at one stage looked a dead cert to be the next England manager was one of a host of names already being linked with Forest, but he has already told BBC Radio Nottingham he is "not interested in the job".

Former Forest stars Roy Keane, Stuart Pearce and Nigel Clough have all been mentioned in a long list of possible replacements.

Keith Mather, chairman of the Nottingham Forest Supporters' Club, told BBC Sport: "I would like to see someone who is really committed to NFFC.

"There's very little chance of it being Nigel Clough [Derby manager], but someone like Roy Keane has history with the club.

"It was a struggle at many times last season, and the guys who have come in with a massive investment want to see something come of that investment. It's one of those cases of a new brush sweeps clean.

"The clock is ticking, the season is five weeks away and we barely have a squad that we can play with."

Former Forest striker Garry Birtles told BBC East Midlands Today: "There will be about a hundred who want this job because it's a fantastic opportunity.

"The club is ready to be progressed, facilities are fantastic, and the [youth] academy is brilliant. So whoever gets the job will be very lucky indeed.

"I just hope the investment is there to progress the club as everybody wants. The supporters of this club are brilliant and they have been dying for this opportunity."