Despite their position just four points and one place outside the play-offs, there were not too many eyebrows raised when Nottingham Forest parted company with Aitor Karanka midway through January.
There was however, a fair few raised when the identity of his successor emerged.
Martin O’Neill’s return to The City Ground, where he spent ten years as a player during a golden era for the club, was his first job in club management in almost six years, having spent the interim period with the Republic of Ireland, a job he left following relegation from the inaugural Nations League at the end of 2018.
Given his time away from the club game, there were some who wondered whether O’Neill would be able to readjust to the pressures of the club game.
So far however, O’Neill has made a pretty steady start to life back in the Championship.
So far the Northern Irishman has won four and lost three of his nine games in charge of the club, with just one of those defeats coming in the last six.
What that means is that Forest have closed that gap on the play-offs from four points to two, and victory fellow play-off hopefuls, and one of O’Neill’s former clubs, Aston Villa on Wednesday could see them climb into the play-offs, providing other results go their way.
With that start from O’Neill showing plenty of promise for those at the City Ground, the hope must surely be that those from above will give their latest managerial recruit to the time to put his plan into action.
O’Neill is the club’s fifth permanent manager in just two and a half years, with none given a season from start to finish to make their mark, many Forest fans will be desperate to see a change of tactic from the owners whose hire and fire has so far proved unsuccessful in achieving the aim of promotion.
Given the popularity O’Neill holds from his playing exploits at The City Ground, and the promise of the start he has made to life in the Forest managerial hotseat, you feel that this time, a Forest manager should, and perhaps will get the chance he needs to get Forest back to the promised land.