McClaren will have funds to help take Forest back to top flight

Nottingham Forest’s new manager, Steve McClaren, has been assured his mission to end the club’s 13-year exile from the Premier League will be supported financially by the board.

Forest wasted little time in appointing former England coach McClaren, 50, as their new manager yesterday and believe they have at last appointed the right man to lift them back into the top flight.

McClaren has signed a three-year contract at the City Ground and takes over from Billy Davies, who was sacked on Sunday following two successive Championship play-off semi-final defeats.

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Davies often cited financial restrictions as one of the the main reasons why Forest have become the ‘nearly men’ in recent seasons but Forest chief executive Mark Arthur insisted money had always been available for his former manager.

Arthur said: “Money has been available in the past. Nigel Doughty has put £25m into the club in the last two seasons, so I think it’s a bit of a fallacy to suggest that no money has been made available.

“Steve will have similar funds available to him if he can identify a player of the quality who will enhance the quality of the current squad.

“We have a very good squad, but he will be looking to improve it in certain positions. I think we all know that the first position we must try and sort out is left-back.”

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McClaren, sacked in disgrace by England in 2008 and recently linked with the vacancy at Aston Villa, returns to club management in this country after reviving his career in Holland and then spending an ill-fated spell in Germany with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.

Forest, relegated from the top flight in 1999, have been unable to claw their way back and languished for three seasons in League One from 2005 to 2008, but Arthur pointed to McClaren’s track record in club management as the reason for his appointment.

Arthur said: “Steve has a proven track record of coaching and managing at club level, having played a key role in helping Manchester United secure the Champions League trophy (in 1999), three Premier League titles and an FA Cup; guided Middlesbrough to the League Cup and also to the final of the UEFA Cup and led FC Twente to their first Dutch title.”

Yorkshireman McClaren, who spent the majority of his playing career at Hull and then Derby, became youth and reserve team coach at Oxford after being forced to retire through injury as a player there in 1992.

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McClaren went back to Derby to work as manager Jim Smith’s assistant in 1995 and the Rams won promotion to the Premier League, but it was after replacing Brian Kidd as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford in 1999 that his reputation began to soar.

United won the treble later that year and also won the title in 2000 and 2001, and McClaren was appointed as an England coach by caretaker manager Peter Taylor in October 2000.

McClaren accepted the manager’s job at Middlesbrough in 2001 and steered them into the UEFA Cup in consecutive seasons and was then installed as Sven Goran Eriksson’s successor as England coach in 2006.

It was while in charge of England that McClaren came under pressure in the national media and his role will be best remembered for the country’s failure to qualify for the European Championships in 2008.

It was the first time in 14 years that England had not qualified for a major tournament and McClaren was sacked the following day after an emergency FA board meeting.