Former Canaries manager's return to Forest is confirmed

Martin O'Neill is reportedly  on the verge of taking over at Nottingham Forest Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Martin O'Neill is reportedly on the verge of taking over at Nottingham Forest Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

PA Wire

Martin O'Neill has been named the new manager of Norwich City's potential promotion rivals Nottingham Forest.

The 66-year-old former Norwich City player and manager left his role as Republic of Ireland boss in November and has this morning been confirmed as successor to Aitor Karanka at the City Ground.

O’Neill has been linked with the managerial job at Forest numerous times before, having enjoyed a successful playing career for the club which included winning two European Cups.

He made 75 appearances and scored 13 goals for Norwich in two spells in the early 1980s and was briefly manager of Norwich in 1995 before leaving for Leicester amid financial problems.

There is no news yet whether Roy Keane, the former Forest midfielder who assisted O’Neill with Ireland, will also move to the City Ground.

Martin O'Neill, pictured celebrating after scoring against Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road in February 1982, made 75 appearances for Norwich Picture: Archant libraryMartin O'Neill, pictured celebrating after scoring against Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road in February 1982, made 75 appearances for Norwich Picture: Archant library

Forest slipped to ninth at the weekend and sit 11 points adrift of third-placed City after a 2-0 loss at reading on Saturday, having lost 2-1 at home to Daniel Farke’s team in October, before allowing a 3-0 lead to slip in an epic 3-3 draw at Carrow Road in December.

O’Neill was a midfielder for Brian Clough’s continental conquering team which won the 1977-78 English title and then back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980. Clough managed Forest from 1975 to 1993.

He enjoyed success with Wycombe, Leicester and Celtic as a manager, before less fruitful spells with Aston Villa and Sunderland.

Forest are four points behind local rivals Derby, who occupy the final play-off spot. Simon Ireland was in caretaker charge for the Reading game but O’Neill arrives ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bristol City.

He becomes Forest’s 11th full-time boss since 2011.

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