Martin O’Neill knows the pressure is on him to deliver results next season, according to club legend John Robertson.
That was the message from the former two-time European Cup winner when he spoke to the Nottingham Post earlier this week. He is a popular figure at the City Ground, having scored the winning goal in the win against Hamburger SV in the 1980 European Cup Final.
Martin O’Neill was appointed in the hope he could guide them into the play-offs. However, this is something he was unable to achieve after taking over from Aitor Karanka.
As he inherited another manager’s squad, the Northern Irishman has been afforded time to put things right by the club’s hierarchy. This did take the pressure off the experienced manager in some respects last season.
There’s no doubt that he won’t have this luxury next season. Evangelos Marinakis will want the Reds forging a serious challenge for promotion to the Premier League. It’s unlikely that O’Neill would be able to get away with four consecutive defeats at any stage next season.
Many supporters were left calling for the manager’s head after consecutive defeats against Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United. They were all very poor performances based on the standards that had been set.
However, O’Neill did manage to change his side’s fortunes around. He guided Forest to three consecutive wins at the end of the season which did somewhat lighten the mood at the City Ground. Nonetheless, there is still a lingering sense of disappointment.
‘He’s got to get results’
According to Robertson, who spent two decades working alongside O’Neill at Aston Villa and Celtic, the Northern Irishman will be acutely aware of the pressure he’ll be under next season.
He said to the Nottingham Post: “Martin knows he’s got to get results and time will tell if that happens, but he’s certainly the best man for the job.
“Once Martin gets started from the beginning of the season, we can all make judgements.
“He’s come in halfway through and there was a time when he wasn’t getting the results, but the last three results were very positive. We hope that it continues from there.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how the Reds fare next season. The feeling around the club isn’t as positive as it was this time last year.
However, O’Neill does have the basis of a very good squad at his disposal. It only needs a few tweaks here and there to make them serious challengers. It remains to been whether O’Neill is able to deliver success at the City Ground.
There’s no doubt that he is going to be under pressure from the first day of the season in August.