Martin O’Neill: Nottingham Forest to appoint club legend as manager

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Martin O’Neill: Nottingham Forest to appoint club legend as manager
Martin O’Neill won 19 of his 55 matches in charge of the Republic of Ireland

Nottingham Forest are set to appoint club legend Martin O’Neill as manager to succeed Aitor Karanka, reports BBC Radio Nottingham.

The 66-year-old, who played 371 games and won the European Cup as a Forest player, ended his five-year spell as Republic of Ireland boss last November.

He returns to a Reds side who are ninth in the Championship, four points outside the play-off places.

O’Neill becomes Nottingham Forest’s 11th manager since June 2011.

Karanka’s exit from the City Ground – with Forest still very much in the promotion race – means O’Neill arrives in a strong position both on the field and off it.

After finishing 17th in 2017-18, they invested heavily during the summer, with Joao Carvalho arriving for a club record fee of £13.2m and striker Lewis Grabban joining in a £6m deal from Bournemouth.

The Forest job would be the Northern Irishman’s first return to club management since a mixed spell with Sunderland, which saw him guide the Black Cats away from relegation in his first season but then struggle again the following campaign prior to his sacking in March 2013.

Will O’Neill match his Forest playing legacy?

Voted into Forest’s all-time greatest 11 in 2016,, O’Neill has considerable stock with supporters.

He was part of Brian Clough’s side that rose from the second division to champions of Europe, although he missed out on the 1979 European Cup final, with goalscorer Trevor Francis taking his place.

As a manager, O’Neill enjoyed a meteoric beginning to his career.

He led Wycombe into the English Football League, brought silverware to Leicester City and led Celtic to three league titles, three Scottish Cups and a League Cup – as well as the 2003 Uefa Cup final.

However, his experiences since coaching Aston Villa, who he guided to three consecutive sixth-place finishes in the Premier League, have failed to produce the same success.

More to follow.

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