Nottingham Forest centre-back Michael Dawson has shared an insight into the sacking of manager Martin O’Neill, report the Nottingham Post.
O’Neill was relieved of his duties two weeks ago after taking over from Aitor Karanka during the January transfer window and was replaced by Sabri Lamouchi, but Dawson has dismissed rumours that a player revolt was behind the dismissal.
“When you see a manager go a week into pre-season, of course it is a surprise,” he said.
“And that is one thing I would like to put out there. I read things about how there was unrest – and that was not reflected in what we saw in training.
“If you have an honest bunch of lads, you will never go far wrong. And we have that here.
“I can honestly say, 100 percent, with my hand on my heart, that there was nobody here who let the manager down when it came to work rate or effort. The work we put in was at a different level.”
Although he managed to drag them back into play-off contention, O’Neill could not spark the serious promotion bid that was expected by the board and left with an average of 1.4 points per game.
Dawson will be hoping to have a greater involvement during the coming campaign having made just 10 league appearances throughout the entirety of the 2018/19 league season.
His return to his boyhood club was met with positive reviews from the fans when he signed as a free agent having been released by Hull City, but it was a season to forget in the end for the veteran defender.
It is always hard to know exactly what has gone on in situations like these and Dawson has been just ellusive enough to ensure that remains the case.
But ultimately the decision to sack O’Neill, although harsh, was ultimately the correct one and one that I think the club will benefit from this time around.
You just have to hope that Lamouchi will be the coach that a Forest board finally decide to give a chance, even if things do not go their way this season.