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Dougie Freedman replaces Stuart Pearce as Nottingham Forest manager

Nottingham Forest, 20/1 chances with Coral to finish in the Championship play-off places, have replaced manager Stuart Pearce with another former player in Dougie Freedman, after the legendary captain stood down after exactly seven months in charge at the City Ground.

The East Midlands outfit lost to Millwall at home, their sixth defeat in the last seven games. Pearce, who spent a dozen years with the Reds as a player, won just 10 of 32 matches in charge.

Signed by iconic Forest boss Brian Clough in 1985 and later made captain, he became a cult hero to fans, who affectionately gave Pearce the nickname ‘Psycho’.

Pearce, who has also coached Manchester City, England Under-21s and the Great Britain Olympic team at the London games, also had a caretaker stint in charge of the Reds in 1997.

Forest released an official statement on Sunday evening, which said: “After long discussions between owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi and manager Stuart Pearce, the club has decided that Stuart will be relieved of his role as manager with immediate effect.”

It also added that an alternative role at the Reds has been offered to Pearce, which he is now understood to be considering.

The first-team reins have now been passed to former Scotland striker Freedman, 40, who was sacked by Bolton Wanderers in October almost two years at the helm. Neil Lennon replaced him as Trotters boss and has steered the Greater Manchester side away from relegation danger.

Although Freedman spent two seasons (1998-2000) as a player with Forest, he is best known for his two spells at Crystal Palace totaling 10 years. The Scot went on to manage the Eagles before quitting Selhurst Park for Bolton in October 2012, yet they went on to earn Premier League promotion under Ian Holloway.

Forest sit 13 points outside the play-offs, and just seven above the drop zone, but are comfortable in mid-table.