Chris Hughton: Nottingham Forest sack boss after six defeats in seven matches

Chris Hughton: Nottingham Forest sack boss after six defeats in seven matches

Forest failed to win any of their past 13 league games under HughtonNottingham Forest have sacked boss Chris Hughton after they suffered their sixth loss from seven Championship matches this season.

Hughton, 62, took over at the start of last season when Sabri Lamouchi was sacked after the Reds lost their first four league games.

He guided Forest to safety in 2020-21 and exits with 14 wins from 52 games.

“The club would like to place on record its appreciation for Chris’ efforts,” a club statement said.

“Chris joined the club in a difficult period for everyone in football and around the world and we thank him for the way he has conducted himself during his tenure.”

Hughton is the first manager to be sacked in England’s top four divisions this season, with Steven Reid taking over as interim head coach while Forest search for a new boss.

Pressure grew on Hughton after they lost their first four games of the season for a second successive campaign.

However, a battling draw at local rivals Derby in the final fixture before the international break saw him given more time to turn their form around.

It was not to be for the former Newcastle and Brighton boss though, as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Cardiff on Sunday, having led, and were then well beaten by Boro on Wednesday.

Reid’s first game in interim charge will be at in-form Huddersfield on Saturday.

AnalysisBBC Radio Nottingham’s Forest correspondent, Colin Fray

After two more home defeats this week, there was an air of inevitability about the decision.

Forest had tried to give Hughton time to turn things around, but a season littered by defensive errors, few shots on target and even fewer points, meant they had to act.

Ultimately, football is about results and performances. The results speak for themselves – 12 wins in 49 league games in all, and the worst start to a season for 108 years.

As for performances, Hughton’s style was dubbed by many to be too negative, too defensive, too stubborn in its reluctance to change.

In those 49 league games, they scored only 41 goals, conceding 50. It wasn’t thrilling, it wasn’t exciting, and so when results took a downturn (he leaves without a win in 13 league matches), he didn’t have many backers left among the support base.

There were mitigating circumstances for the likeable, calm and polite Hughton to have to deal with.

He inherited a squad almost a year ago that had lost its first four games. Up until deadline day last month, he’d been able to make just one long-term permanent signing – goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.

Players this summer were signed late – some still haven’t arrived. He’d been in charge during the Covid no-fans period, so was unable to build a rapport with a frustrated fanbase, and talking of Covid, it hit the Forest camp in July, wrecking the last two weeks of pre-season, and leaving them under prepared.

Another poor start means staying in the division has yet again become the disappointing first aim for another season.

The big question for Forest now is, can they find a manager capable of getting the best out of a squad which, by the club’s own admission, has been trimmed in size, made younger, and costs less than last season?

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