Video: Martin O'Neill unveiled as new Nottingham Forest boss - and he wants 'special' Keane beside him
Martin O'Neill has confirmed that Roy Keane is the man he wants to see appointed as his assistant manager at Nottingham Forest.
The former Republic of Ireland boss was named as Forest's new chief earlier this week, with Keane thought to be embroiled in discussions with the Championship club.
"I would dearly like him to join us, this has happened very quickly and he has a number of things to sort out himself and we’ve had some discussions here," O'Neill said.
"I’d like him to join if that’s the case, there’s a spot open for him and I’m hoping that may happen. It may not, he has a number of things to consider himself, personally and professionally, but he will keep me informed."
The pair led the Republic of Ireland for five years from November 2013, reaching the last 16 of Euro 2016 before missing out on a place in the 2018 World Cup finals after suffering a heavy play-off defeat to Denmark.
That double-header marked the start of an 11 game run that yielded just a solitary victory and led to the pair leaving their jobs.
During a miserable 2018 of results, Keane hit the headlines when Harry Arter opted to miss the September fixtures against Wales and Poland following a bust-up with the former Manchester United star.
"He’s tough to handle, there’s no doubt about that, but that’s what makes him special. He was a special footballer, drove Manchester United for 10 years and he didn’t do that by sitting around," O'Neill continued, speaking at his first press conference as Forest boss.
Keane, of course, played for Forest between 1990 and 1993 before joining Manchester United. Like O'Neill, he worked under legendary manager Brian Clough at the City Ground.
O'Neill was a midfielder for Clough's Forest team which won the 1977-78 First Division title and then back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980. Keane played in the 1991 FA Cup final, having scored three goals in his side's run to Wembley, where they were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham.
"It has probably not sunk in yet as things have happened very quickly," O'Neill said of his appointment. "It goes without saying that it's a privilege and an honour to be manager of this club. I had 10 years here as a player, and the last five were pretty exceptional.
"It's a long time since the club has been in the big league and I am going to see if I can rectify that. It's the only reason to be here. The club has slipped a bit in recent times but hopefully we can rectify that.
"I have to get to know the players in ultra quick time, but that's okay. This is it, this is what I am meant to do. I'm here for 18 months and if I can't get them up then I will hand it over to someone else."
Belfast Telegraph Digital