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Fans want Pearce at Forest, but Zola leads next manager market

Odds on Stuart Pearce returning to Nottingham Forest as their new manager have been halved by Coral overnight, and halved again from 12/1 to 6/1 and now 3/1.

Former England caretaker and Under-21s boss Pearce, affectionately nicknamed ‘Psycho’ by the City Ground faithful, played for the East Midlands outfit at left back between 1985 and 1997.

During those dozen years at Forest, Pearce had a temporary spell in charge between Frank Clark and Dave Bassett. He also managed Manchester City between 2005 and 2007 after ending his playing career there.

Although Forest fans, who have seen their prospects of promotion be put in serious jeopardy because of a slump that started when League One team Sheffield United knocked them out of the FA Cup, want prodigal son Pearce, he is second-favourite.

Ex-West Ham and Watford boss Gianfranco Zola leads Coral’s market at 7/4. He has been out of work since December when he was replaced at Vicarage Road by fellow Italian coach Giuseppe Sannino.

Forest are looking for a new manager following the sacking of Billy Davies in the wake of their 5-0 mauling at East Midlands rivals Derby County. The Reds are now 11/1 shots to be promoted to the Premier League.

Academy gaffer Gary Brazil is in interim charge of the Forest first-team for their midweek encounter with Championship strugglers Charlton. Odds of 20/1 say he will get the job on a permanent basis.

Malky Mackay, discarded by Cardiff City over the festive period, is shorter at 14/1, and may be ready to return to management after resisting rumoured overtures from West Bromwich Albion.

Sporting Lisbon coach Leonardo Jardim is a 16/1 to leave the Portuguese giants for the East Midlands. Son of City Ground icon Brian Clough, Nigel – in charge at the Blades – is 20/1 alongside former Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones.

Neil Warnock, who was offered the job but declined it, is the same price to change his mind.

It’s 25/1 bar those names, and outsiders include Pearce’s successor as England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate and Forest assistant David ‘Ned’ Kelly, as well as Roberto Di Matteo, Paolo Di Canio, Owen Coyle and Steve Clarke.