Weekend Championship Preview

A comprehensive preview to the weekend's Championship action, with all four of our Midland's teams vying for points.

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Forest owner stresses patience as club look for new manager

Fawaz Al Hasawi has released a statement after Billy Davies' sacking Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

The Nottingham Forest owner has released a statement in which he has stressed the need for patience, as he decides who will succeed Billy Davies as manager.

Fawaz Al Hasawi also said the media will be given regular access to the new manager, whoever it is, and any bans imposed on members of the press will be lifted.

He added that Academy manager, Gary Brazil, will be in charge of the first team until a new manager is appointed.

The statement from the chairman reads:

"I would like to place on record my gratitude to Billy Davies for all his efforts as manager of Nottingham Forest Football Club. I wish him all the best for the future."

"I am aware many people expect me to announce a new manager imminently, however I must stress the need for patience as I make the important decision of who takes the reins at this crucial stage of the season..."

"...Supporters can rest assured the local and national press will have regular access to whoever is appointed as our new manager as, with immediate effect, any bans imposed on members of the media are lifted. I hope the club can now look forward to enjoying a positive relationship with the press..."

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Billy Davies sacked by Forest for a second time

Stock photo of Billy Davies at the City Ground Credit: PA

Nottingham Forest has issued a very short statement on its website confirming the 'termination of manager Billy Davies' employment.'

It brings to an end the Scot's second spell in charge at the club, after he was re-appointed 13 months ago.

The statement thanked 'Mr Davies for his efforts during his second spell as manager'.

The club says it's due to make a further announcement in due course, although there's heavy speculation Neil Warnock could be the man to replace Davies at the city ground, with reports he's already met with Forest's owners the Al Hasawi family.

See more reaction to Billy Davies' departure on the ITV Football site.

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Derby County tie-up permanent deal for Dawkins

Dawkins has impressed on loan at Derby Credit: PA

Derby County have signed Tottenham midfielder Simon Dawkins on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell.

Dawkins joins Steve McClaren's men for an undisclosed fee, believed to be worth in the region of £500,000, on a two-and-a-half year contract.

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder joined the Rams from Spurs on a three-month deal in October and has scored three goals in his 13 appearances.

Read: For the latest football news visit ITV Football

Leicester City game held up by squirrel on pitch

QPR's Clint Hill tries to usher the squirrel off the pitch Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Leicester City's match at Queen's Park Rangers was held up today by a squirrel.

The critter made its way onto the pitch in the first half, while the score was still 0-0. It took a couple of minutes for the squirrel to leave the pitch, with players from both sides trying to chase it off.

The squirrel left the pitch after a number of minutes Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Leicester went on to win the match 1-0, ending Queen's Park Rangers' unbeaten home league record, and go level on points with the hoops.

Squirrel's pitch invasion stops play at QPR vs Leicester

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A Squirrel pitch invades at Loftus Road today, causing the match to be stopped.. http://t.co/olVmourJaq

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A plucky squirrel briefly delayed the Championship clash between QPR and Leicester at Loftus Road today after it ran onto the pitch.

Players tried to chase it off the field when it was spotted running around in the first half.

But it's not the first football match to have an unusual delay this week .

Stoke City's League Cup tie against Manchester United had to be stopped for 10 minutes because of a freak hailstorm.

Read: Pictures showing hail halting play at Britannia Stadium

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