Nottingham Forest moved to bring in Martin O’Neill as the club’s new manager earlier in January, with the 66-year-old returning to the City Ground, where he thrived during his playing days.
O’Neill is fresh out of international management having left the Irish national side in November, with his last job in club management coming at Sunderland between 2011 and 2013.
That spell at the Stadium of Light proved to be difficult for O’Neill, which is something EFL on Quest pundit, Stephen Warnock, is wary of.
“It’s one of them when you appoint a manager you never know it’s going to be a good decision until further down the line. There’s nothing to say that because of his affiliation with the club, his history with the club that he’s going to fit in,” Warnock exclusively told FLW.
“I think if you’re a Nottingham Forest fan you’re feeling slightly concerned about his form at Sunderland. I know it was a bit of a tough time at Sunderland and things weren’t right behind the scene, but it was a tough time for him there.”
From Sunderland, O’Neill went on to manage the Republic of Ireland, who he led to Euro 2016 in France. However, the former Leicester and Celtic boss couldn’t deliver World Cup qualification for Russia in the summer gone by.
Reflecting on that spell with Ireland, Warnock continued: “With Ireland, he had a good spell initially when he first went in and then did they improve as a team? Did they really do what you expected them to?
“You can probably argue that they came up against some tough teams but I still think they had enough to qualify (for the World Cup).
“It’s a big test for him because he goes back into the day-to-day of being a manager and it’s a little bit different to international football because you can only pick who is available to you within a national team. Now he’s got to get his scouting network ready for January, can he pick up a few players that suit his style.”
O’Neill’s return to club management and the City Ground wasn’t one to remember, with the Reds losing to Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.
Forest were downed by Famara Diedhiou’s second-half goal in front of a sell-out crowd in Nottingham.
Watch EFL on Quest every Saturday at 9pm. Also available live and on-demand at quest.co.uk and via the QuestOD app