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Keane favourite to replace sacked O'Driscoll at Forest

ESPN staff
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Roy Keane spent 20 months in charge at Ipswich © PA Photos
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Roy Keane is set to replace the sacked Sean O'Driscoll as Nottingham Forest manager.

The former City Ground favourite, who played in Brian Clough's final Forest team in the early 1990s, watched from the stands as the Forest class of 2012 recorded a fine 4-2 win against Leeds on Boxing Day that put them within touching distance of the Championship play-offs.

However, the victory was not enough to save O'Driscoll from the sack, with Forest owners Abdulaziz Al Hasawi and Fawaz Al Hasawi issuing a statement suggesting they were making a change now with the club's "long term future" in mind.

Their statement went on to confirm they "are looking for an ambitious manager with Premier League experience", with former Sunderland boss Keane seemingly ready to answer the call as he looks set to return a return to the touchline.

The controversial Irishman has been out of management since being sacked by Ipswich in January 2011 and has become a TV pundit during his time away from the game.

Sources close to Keane are suggesting a deal is in place for the former Manchester United skipper to make a return to the club where his triumphant career in English football began, with the remit provided by the club's ambitious owners clear as they have their sights set on the Premier League.

Forest star Simon Cox was among those who have expressed their shock at O'Driscoll's exit, with the club statement confirming the manager's departure conceding he was unfortunate to be relieved of his duties.

"Sean was appointed at an extremely difficult time for the club and can count himself unlucky to have lost his job, but we have a responsibility to look to the future for this great club because we have huge ambitions for it," read the statement. "We knew it would take time for the players we brought in to settle but that process has taken longer than anticipated."

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