No talk of five-year plans at Nottingham Forest. Rejoice!

Instead, we are now working to an 18-month blueprint.

That is how long Martin O’Neill has given himself to get the job done at the City Ground.

If Premier League football is not delivered in that time, we will be returning to square one.

Given the Reds’ recent history, there is actually every chance we will find ourselves back there well before the summer of 2020.

For now, though, we can dare to dream.

O’Neill has not been given a long-term contract and is aware that the clock is already ticking.

He is only a matter of days into the job, but time waits for no man – particularly Nottingham Forest managers.


(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“The club has slipped a little bit in recent times, but hopefully we can rectify that,” O’Neill said in the Nottingham Post.

“The obvious hurdle is that you have to get to know the players pretty quickly. This is not a pre-season. This is not something you can know you can take five or six weeks to sort things out and get to know the players very well.

“I have to try to do that in ultra-quick time. That’s okay, that’s not a major problem.

“There are a few suspensions and injuries to overcome.

“But overall this is it, this is what I want to do. I’m here for 18 months, and if we can’t get up, I’ll gladly hand it over to someone else to see if they can do it.”

In ideal world, O’Neill will deliver on his remit inside six months.

Secure a top-six finish, win the play-offs, return to the top table. Job done. Simples.

That may be asking a lot, but it is what was expected of Aitor Karanka this season.


The goalposts should not have been moved for O’Neill.

What if he does deliver on that remit, though?

Forest secure promotion but toil in the Premier League – does O’Neill lose his job?

What if the Reds don’t go up but stumble out of the blocks next season – is another change on the cards?

How about back-to-back top-six spots but play-off heartache on each occasion – is that the end of the road?

This is getting far too confusing.

Maybe 18-month projects aren’t the way forward after all.

Perhaps it is best we stick to the next 18 weeks and reassess in the summer!

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