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Andy Reid 'surprised' Notts Forest sacked Mark Warburton when they did


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Arsenal might have played a drastically weakened team but their FA Cup third round defeat to Nottingham Forest still raised a few eyebrows.

One interested observer on Sunday as the reigning champions were dumped out of the competition at the first hurdle by a 4-2 margin was former Ireland midfielder Andy Reid, who spent over a decade at Nottingham Forest across two spells that book-ended his career.

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"It was just one of them performances that every so often you get from a team outside the Premier League against a Premier League side," said Reid as he joined Joe Molloy and Kevin Kilbane on the Football Show last night.

Nottingham Forest's Ben Brereton celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup, Third Round match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images

"They really, really showed what they could do yesterday with essentially what was a very young squad and a squad that when Mark Warburton lost his job was building for the future."

He pointed out that ex-Rangers manager Warburton's squad had been built with an eye to the future, with the club currently lower mid-table in the Championship.

"The people I spoke to at the club, I thought Mark Warburton was going to get a bit more time. So I was surprised that they sacked him," said Reid of Warburton, who was sacked on New Year's Eve.

"I know they picked up a couple of bad results. They had one bad result. I think Sheffield Wednesday beat them 3-0 at home and you know those games at home where you lose 3-0, the fans start kind of turning and I think that's when boards and chairmen start panicking and I think a bit of panic set in. I really rate Mark Warburton. I think he's an excellent manager and he's done really well wherever he's gone and I was a little bit disappointed when they got rid of him."  

Former Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton. Tim Goode/EMPICS Sport

Five of the team that beat Arsenal emerged from the Forest academy, like Reid had done at the turn of the Millennium, with academy manager Gary Brazil on the sideline.

"There's good quality players in there and they proved at times this season that they can play. The problem so far this season is that they've been too inconsistent. There's been one game where they've played really well and the next game they've been particularly poor. So we do know that they have a really good performance in them but they've got a poor performance in them as well that comes with the youth and inexperience that some of the young lads have got," he said.

While Arsenal had a weakened team out, Reid pointed out that it still contained nine current or former internationals including Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott and David Ospina.


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