Hart to return to Nottingham Forest as technical director in wake of McClaren's resignation

Paul Hart is returning to Nottingham Forest as technical director as the club’s hierarchy cleared the way for a change of direction at the City Ground.

The well-travelled ex-Forest boss will assume a quasi-management role with the club drawing up a shortlist of ambitious, but largely untried, successors to Steve McClaren.

Owner Nigel Doughty and chief executive Mark Arthur are conscious that their experiment in appointing former England coach has backfired spectacularly.

And so they have turned to Hart, credited with bringing through a host of young talent that included the likes of Jermaine Jenas, David Prutton and Michael Dawson, as an experienced safe pair of hands to help a younger boss.

Return to the City Ground: Paul Hart

Return to the City Ground: Paul Hart departed Forest in 2004

It is a positive move that is an overdue piece of good news in the wake of a disastrous week, on and off the club.

With Hart overseeing matters, the club want to appoint a dynamic coach to take over the struggling Championship side.

McClaren’s own aide, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, is among several out-of-work bosses including Aidy Boothroyd and Dave Jones who are interested in the post.

But Forest’s shortlist includes Karl Robinson at MK Dons, Paul Tisdale at Exeter City while Gary Mills at York City and Stevenage’s Graham Westley are two who have both succeeded in the lower leagues.

Mark Robins would have been on the shortlist following relatively successful spells with Barnsley and Rotherham respectively, but he is the favourite for the vacant post at Bristol City in the wake of Keith Millen’s exit.

Walking away: Steve McClaren resigned as Forest boss after a dispute over transfers

Walking away: Steve McClaren resigned as Forest boss after a dispute over transfers

Interestingly, there is also recognition of the work that Kevin MacDonald has undertaken at Villa Park. The Scot is mulling over an offer of promotion from the reserves to join Alex McLeish’s first-team set-up but he is another who has come to the attention of Forest’s board.

However, one name that has not yet been discounted, but would make for a romantic but hugely controversial choice is Nigel Clough.

Derby County’s boss has obvious connections with the club and his work at Pride Park has been noted by the Forest hierarchy. But, having grown up in Derby and been schooled there, it is more likely that he would use any interest to have his on-going contractual issues sorted out, rather than move across the east Midlands.

Clough, whose Rams’ side currently lie third in the Championship, is out-of-contract next summer and so far has not yet been offered an improved deal.

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