Martin O’Neill eyeing next job in management despite Nottingham Forest fiasco
Martin O'Neill says his horror return to Nottingham Forest hasn't crushed his desire to manage again.
Old gunslinger O'Neill boasts one of the finest managerial CV's around and he's pretty sure he'd like to get back in the saddle despite his shabby exit at the club where he won two European Cups as a player.
The 68-year-old's romantic return to the City Ground lasted just 164 days – he was axed after just 19 games and then suffered the indignity of seeing Sabri Lamouchi announced as his successor just 18 minutes later.
The former Celtic, Aston Villa, Sunderland and Republic of Ireland boss tries to press the delete button on his shabby Forest exit and simply write off the whole sorry episode.
But 12 months out of work and the coronavirus lockdown has given O'Neill plenty of time to mull over whether he's still up for it.
O'Neill says: "Would Forest be an unsatisfactory end? I really don't see it like that. I don't even consider it a job – that's the whole point.
"I'd genuinely have to look at anything that came along but I can tell you one thing – I haven't lost any enthusiasm. It's enthusiasm that keeps me going.
"Let's put it this way, I won't be running into Nottingham Forest again. That was bizarre. They told me they would do things in the summer but I didn't make it that far.
"Everyone knows the Premier League is the Holy Grail and I think owners do ridiculous things on the way to trying to achieve that. It starts to make you wary.
"Don't get me wrong the game has changed dramatically – especially over the last couple of decades.
"Some of these owners want to manage everything and you can get a situation where you are no longer a manager – you are merely a head of department. Then they turn around and say 'he's old school'."
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O'Neill has the cushion of financial security and a CV that is beyond reproach – two promotions with Wycombe, a promotion and two League Cups at Leicester and seven major trophies and a UEFA Cup final with Celtic.
He returned south of the border and took Villa to three successive sixth place finishes and European football before he quit and then guided the Republic to the knockout stages of EURO 2016.
O'Neill bristles at the cheap shot that he's 'old school' adding: "I've no doubt I'll be back in some capacity. I would really have to take a wee bit more of a careful look at who I was working with than I have done rather than taking things at face value.
"I have bridged both eras in the sense that as a player and in the early part of my managerial career that would be considered old school.
"I started to see changes as I left Celtic. Players changed, money in the game just expanded to a whole new level.
"You keep the essence of your management intact but you certainly have to adapt to situations. Alex Ferguson had to change. For the want of a better word, he became more tolerant.
"The idea that you don't adapt is foolish. You have to adapt or you go under. We all learn."
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