Tuesday 17 September 2019

Nottingham Forest players were asked to give verdict on Martin O'Neill days before the axe fell - report

Nottingham Forest sacked Martin O'Neill on Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Nottingham Forest sacked Martin O'Neill on Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Nottingham Forest's first team stars played a role in the departure of manager Martin O'Neill, according to a detailed report in the Nottingham Post.

O'Neill was sacked on Friday morning and replaced with former France international Sabri Lamouchi just 18 minutes later, in a move that was viewed as a surprise by many observers.

Yet the local Nottingham newspaper have used their sources at the club to reveal discussions over O'Neill's future have been underway for several weeks, after he struggled to impress following his return to the club he excelled at during his playing days last January.

After his tenure as Republic of Ireland manager came to a turbulent end last November, O'Neill's return to club management with Forest was welcomed by the club's supporters who hoped the nostalgic appointment would reap rewards.

Yet a familiar tale quickly emerged after Roy Keane was reunited with O'Neill at Forest, with rumours of player discontent over their management style and tactics circulating just a few weeks into their reign.

Now Nottingham Post reporter Paul Taylor has claimed Forest officials consulted with players when they returned to pre-season training, with Keane's exit as assistant manager quickly followed by that of O'Neill.

O'Neill has yet to offer any public comment on what appeared to be a pretty brutal sacking, just days after he insisted he was content to continue in the role despite the exit of his sidekick Keane.

"I have absolutely no problem with it,” O’Neill told the Derry Chronicle after Keane left Forest. "I've loved working with him it was great. We had some great days working together with the Republic of Ireland and qualification for the European Championships which were fantastic.

"But I think Roy always wanted to go back into management himself and I think he wanted to be his own man which I think he has been for a long time. 

"He came and he said he would think about it (leaving) when the season was ending and this is what he wants to do and good luck to him."

O'Neill has now joined his high profile side-kick looking for a management job and at the age of 67, it remains to be seen whether he has any desire to return to the game once again.

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