Another defeat for Nottingham Forest and yet more calls for managerial change.

Martin O’Neill has been in a job for a matter of months, but for some his days are already numbered.

A club legend from the past? Most definitely.

The right man to lead the way in 2019?

Many a terrace jury has decreed that O’Neill does not fit that bill and should be moved on.

Despite being tied to a deal until the summer of 2020.

And working with a squad that he inherited in January from Aitor Karanka.

Plenty will castigate the revolving door policy in place at the City Ground in one breath, before immediately calling for another change in the next.

There is, of course, no smoke without fire.

O’Neill has been at the helm for 14 fixtures now.

He has won five, draw three and lost six.


(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Not what was required when appointed with a play-off spot still up for grabs.

There has been the odd frustration along the way and things could have been better.

They aren’t and this is where we stand.

Five games left and no indication that O’Neill will not see things through to the summer.

When the final whistle goes against Bolton on May 5, the Northern Irishman will have completed 19 games in charge of the Reds.

Were he to jump or be pushed at that point, then fourth spot would be filled on an unfortunate list.

Of those to have been Forest boss on a permanent basis, only three have taken in less than 19 matches.

Alex McLeish sits at the bottom of the pile on seven.

Steve McClaren is just above him at 13 and Ron Atkinson – the last man to take in Premier League competition – another rung up the ladder on 17.

McLeish came and went rather abruptly around the turn of the year in 2013.

Eleven men have occupied the dugout since then, on a caretaker or full-time basis, but little has changed.



Forest are still forever chasing that elusive dream.

The grass is always greener on the other side regardless of how many times you cross the bridge.

Were O’Neill to depart, then a new six-year low would be hit.

Not since McLeish would such a hasty turnaround have been made on the touchline.

The obvious argument is that it is better to change heading into another transfer window and pre-season than to return to square one in the middle of another campaign.

Stability and trust need to be sought and shown at some point though.

O’Neill vowed upon penning an 18-month deal that he would walk away if top-flight football was not returned to the banks of the Trent.

Does he not at least deserve the chance to see that agreement out?

How different – given the way things have gone in recent years – would the situation be 12 months down the line?

Rip it up and start again or show a little faith?

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