Alex McLeish says Nottingham Forest will be 'gunning for the Premier League'
Forest boss Alex McLeish says his appointment was an 'absolute whirlwind' and he will be gunning for the Premier League.
Last Updated: 29/12/12 1:16pm
McLeish was appointed on Thursday evening following the sacking of Sean O'Driscoll just 24 hours earlier.
The Scotsman, whose first game in charge is in doubt due to weather conditions, has welcomed his new position, and hails it a "wonderful challenge".
McLeish said: "It's a terrific opportunity, to come to a club of Nottingham Forest's magnitude. It's always nice to get a job. Normally if you're out of work then you're waiting and somebody may be in a bit of difficulty, and it's not the case with this particular job.
"It looks an absolutely wonderful challenge for me."
While Forest's Boxing Day fixture ended in a 4-2 win over Leeds United, O'Driscoll was dismissed just hours later and McLeish said that negotiations with the club had been completed rapidly.
"Whirlwind, absolute whirlwind," he said. "It was a surprise but a very welcome surprise."
Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi revealed the club was keen to appoint a manager with Premier League experience, something McLeish gathered during stints at Birmingham and Aston Villa.
While Forest currently sit in eighth in the Championship, McLeish, 53, expressed his aims of targeting the Premier League.
He said: "We're one point off play-offs so we have to try and target getting into the top six and ultimately gunning for the Premier League.
"What we want to see is Forest mounting a very serious challenge and the proceedings and that will be my goal, working with the team and working with the staff. There's a good bunch of players there who play some good football, so 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'."
McLeish was sacked as Villa manager in May after 11 months in charge when the club endured a poor league campaign, finishing just above the relegation zone.
McLeish said: "Any of the previous clubs I've worked with are fantastic clubs and they were fantastic challenges.
"I took the jobs on when they were in a bit of difficulty, the goal was to try and get them into a position of relative safety.
"It was a difficult job at Villa last season but it was one that I met head on, and it was great to get them over the line despite a catalogue of horrors there."
Excited with the new challenge ahead, he added: "There's always a difficulty of any challenge that you approach but I have to get the very best out of the players, which is the manager's job, and we have a good bunch of players and we have a real quality in the dressing room.
"If they continue to show me that quality and show me that they're willing to really work their socks off for Nottingham Forest then they'll have chance of playing in the team no question."