Aston Villa made approach for Forest boss Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren has revealed Aston Villa cancelled a meeting set up to discuss their managerial vacancy before he was appointed as Nottingham Forest's new boss.
Former England coach McClaren was paraded at The City Ground on Thursday after signing a three-year deal to succeed Billy Davies, who was sacked after losing to Swansea City in the Championship play-offs.
McClaren was on a list of potential targets to succeed Gerard Houllier after he left Villa Park on health grounds - but it was claimed he was then ruled out of contention after an adverse reaction from fans.
STEVE McCLAREN COACHING TIMELINE
- 1995: Becomes assistant to Jim Smith at Derby after spell as Oxford Utd youth team coach
- 1999: Moves to Man Utd as number two to Sir Alex Ferguson
- February 2001: Joins Sven-Goran Eriksson's coaching set-up with England
- June 2001: Appointed as Middlesbrough manager
- February 2004: Wins Carling Cup with 2-1 win over Bolton in final
- May 2006: Named as Eriksson's successor as England boss
- November 2007: Sacked by England after failing to reach Euro 2008
- June 2008: Returns to management with FC Twente
- May 2010: Wins Dutch title before switching to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg
- February 2011: Parts company with Wolfsburg after poor results
- June 2011: Appointed as Nottingham Forest boss
He said: "There was an approach and an appointment set up that wasn't fulfilled, but I can't control that.
"You'd have to ask Aston Villa about the reasons. At the time it was a disappointment but I've had many disappointments in football. I quickly moved on."
Ironically, Villa's plan to now appoint former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has provoked a furious response from supporters, with hundreds staging a protest outside the ground on Wednesday evening.
McClaren has now set his sights on restoring Forest to the Premier League but insists he has nothing to prove in his home country after his failed 16-month spell as England coach.
He was dismissed by the Football Association after England failed to reach Euro 2008, then moved abroad to win Eredivisie in Holland with FC Twente, only to endure a less successful spell in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg and was sacked after only nine months in charge.
"It's a great feeling to be here at Nottingham Forest," said McClaren.
"You can smell the history and tradition of this club. I don't feel I have anything to prove after England.
"Before and after England I have been successful and I have come back here for a challenge and for a club with great ambitions in Nottingham Forest."
McClaren added: "I could have waited and tried to seek an opportunity in the Premier League further down the line and I had quite a few offers from abroad but I have come to The City Ground for a new, big challenge.
"This club smacks of history and tradition and now we want to build on that and create a modern culture. There are always big expectations here, not just outside the club but from inside as well. That's why I'm here."