Martin O’Neill has been announced as the new manager of Nottingham Forest. The former Republic of Ireland manager joins after Aitor Karanka ‘asked to be released‘ from his contract at the City Ground on January 11th. Roy Keane is also set to join Forest as O’Neill’s assistant.
Martin O’Neill Joins Forest
A Return For The Irish duo
O’Neill will be returning to a club where he was once a player and one where he was very successful. Over ten years, he made over 300 appearances for the club and won a total of eight trophies. This included both of their European Cup wins under the great Brian Clough. As a result, O’Neill is considered a Forest legend.
Roy Keane is also a former Nottingham Forest player. The former midfielder started his career in England at Forest and made 114 appearances in a three year spell. He has previously worked with Martin O’Neill, as his assistant in a five-year spell as Republic of Ireland manager.
‘The Outstanding Candidate’
According to The Guardian, Forest have labelled O’Neill as the ‘outstanding candidate’. He has a good record as a manager and has won several trophies.
In his five year spell at Leicester City, he won the First Division play-offs in 1996 as well as the League Cup twice. His spells at Aston Villa and Sunderland were not quite successful, although he did qualify for Europe in three out of his four seasons at Aston Villa.
His most successful spell as a high profile manager came at Celtic. Across five years he won the Scottish Premiership three times as well as finish runner-up in UEFA Cup in 2003, in which they were beaten by Porto.
During his time as Republic of Ireland manager he qualified for UEFA European Championship in 2016. They qualified for the knockout stages thanks to a late Robbie Brady goal in their last group stage game against Italy. However, they were knocked out by runner’s up France in the Round of 16.
A Tough Task Lies Ahead
Joining Forest, he will be tasked with trying to guide them to the Championship play-offs. They currently lie in ninth, four points off rivals Derby County in sixth place. However, he will have to turn around their poor run of form. They have only won two of their last nine games in all competitions.