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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 February, 2004, 18:52 GMT
Forest sack Hart
Former Forest manager Paul Hart
Nottingham Forest manager Paul Hart has left the Division One strugglers.

The news comes after Forest's 1-0 home defeat against Coventry, their 14th successive league game without a win, and with the side in the drop zone.

Forest chairman Nigel Doughty said he felt the club had little choice but to part company with Hart.

"It's always regrettable when it comes to making decisions like this one but we feel that some action had to be taken," said Doughty.

"It's not a decision that has been made in haste.

"We feel we have given Paul every chance to try and turn things around but, for one reason or another, the improvement we have all been desperate to see has not been forthcoming.

"We have 17 games remaining this season and it is imperative that we do everything possible to improve results and stabilise our league position.

"We will be looking to appoint a manager as soon as possible in order to move the club in a forward direction once more."

Hart took over as City Ground boss when David Platt left to become England Under-21 coach in July 2001.

He guided the club to the Division One play-off semi-finals last season but has endured a horrific campaign with the Reds this time around.

Earlier this season, Hart was tipped to become boss at Leeds United, where he played and worked as a highly successful youth team coach.

But following his departure from Forest, Leeds dismissed renewed speculation that he will replace caretaker manager Eddie Gray at Elland Road.

The club said in a statement: "Leeds can confirm that they will not be discussing the managerial position with Paul Hart.

"Eddie Gray has been granted a further extension for the rest of the season."

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