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Martin O'Neill named Nottingham Forest's new manager with Keane appointment yet to be confirmed

Martin O’Neill has returned to the City Ground to manage Nottingham Forest (Tim Goode/PA)
Martin O’Neill has returned to the City Ground to manage Nottingham Forest (Tim Goode/PA)

Nottingham Forest have announced the appointment of Martin O’Neill as their new manager.

The 66-year-old Derry native, a former Forest player who won two European Cups at the City Ground, replaces Aitor Karanka in the job after the Spaniard's departure last week.

O'Neill becomes the club's 11th full-time boss since 2011 and his first game in charge is likely to be at home against fellow Championship play-off hopefuls Bristol City on Saturday.

While Roy Keane, the former Forest midfielder who assisted O'Neill during his five years as Republic of Ireland manager, is expected to be confirmed as O'Neill's number two, his appointment has yet to be announced.

O'Neill was a midfielder for Brian Clough's continental conquering Forest 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.

Irishman O'Neill enjoyed success with Wycombe, Leicester and Celtic as a manager, before less fruitful spells with Aston Villa and Sunderland. He left his role as Ireland boss in November.

“Nottingham Forest are delighted to confirm the appointment of Martin O’Neill as the club’s new manager,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Northern Irishman enjoyed a hugely successful playing career which included 371 appearances and 62 goals during a 10-year-spell at The City Ground, a time in which he helped The Reds to win a First Division title, two European Cups and two League Cups.

“Martin is finally realising a life-long dream in managing his beloved Nottingham Forest. With his commitment to the club, knowledge of the game and passion to succeed, O’Neill will be aiming to take the club back into the top flight of English football and make the miracle happen again.”

As a manager, he enjoyed promotion success with Wycombe and Leicester, leading the Foxes to the Premier League as well as winning two League Cups, plus winning seven major trophies with Celtic, including three Scottish Premiership titles. O'Neill also guided the Hoops to the UEFA Cup final in 2003, losing to a Porto side managed by Jose Mourinho.

Less fruitful spells followed with Aston Villa and Sunderland before he took the Ireland job in November 2013. Under O'Neill, Ireland qualified for the 2016 European Championships, reaching the knock-outs stages at the finals, but failed to qualify for the World Cup two years later.

O'Neill left his role as Ireland boss in November and the Forest job will be his first in club management since leaving Sunderland in March 2013.

He takes over with the Reds ninth in the Championship table, four points behind local rivals Derby, who occupy the final play-off spot, and lost 2-0 at Reading on Saturday.

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