EDDIE Howe has expressed his surprise and disappointment at Sean O’Driscoll’s shock sacking as manager of Nottingham Forest.

Former Cherries boss O’Driscoll was axed by the Championship outfit just hours after masterminding a 4-2 win over Leeds United on Boxing Day.

The news was widely met with dismay – not least because the ex-Cherries midfielder had guided the club to within one point of the play-off zone.

Cherries manager Howe, who played for O’Driscoll at Dean Court, described him as a “very good person and a very good football manager”.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “I was as surprised as anybody when hearing the news.

“Anyone who has worked with Sean will tell you he is a very good manager, very detailed in his work.

“Having worked with Sean for as long as I have and as closely as I have, I am very surprised and very disappointed for him because I know that whatever job he does, he puts in his heart and soul, so I know he will be very disappointed.”

Ex-Doncaster boss O’Driscoll, 55, had only been in charge at the City Ground since July.

Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said: “He can count himself unlucky to have lost his job with the team just one point away from the top six.”

Al Hasawi added: “We feel we have developed a really strong squad of players but are still searching for consistency in terms of team performance, underlined by the fact that we have not won more than two games in succession in the Championship this season.”