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Nottingham Forest sack Martin O'Neill

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Nottingham Forest sack O'Neill

Nottingham Forest have parted company with Martin O'Neill, just a month before the 2019/20 Championship season kicks off.

The former Republic of Ireland manager only took charge of the club in January following the dismissal of Aitor Karanka, but they have decided that a change was needed ahead of the new campaign. 

It comes just days after O'Neill's assistant Roy Keane left the club to pursue his own managerial career, and 24 hours before they play their first pre-season friendly of the summer against Alfreton Town. 

An official statement published on the club website said: "Nottingham Forest can confirm that manager Martin O’Neill has left the club. The club would like to thank Martin for all his efforts during his time at The City Ground and wish him well for the future."

According to reports, the Forest hierarchy were forced to act after the players expressed their unhappiness at the former Aston Villa manager's methods. They thought it better to get rid now rather than begin a new season and risk the issues getting even worse. 

O'Neill Forest
Martin O'Neill was sacked after just five months in charge of Nottingham Forest.

Sabri Lamouchi replaces O'Neill after just 18 minutes

It didn't take long for Forest to replace O'Neill, indeed they announced his successor just 18 minutes after the Northern Irishman's departure was confirmed.

Sabri Lamouchi is the man they have turned to, a name that will likely not be too familiar to football fans on English shores.

He is a client of agent Jorge Mendes who works with the East Midlands club, so no doubt he has played a major role in this deal.

The Frenchman last managed in Ligue 1 with Rennes, and initially did a decent job with them. He took them from the relegation zone to a fifth place finish in his first season in charge, meaning that they qualified for the Europa League. 

However, he was sacked last December after some poor results at the start of the campaign.

Lamouchi has also managed the Ivory Coast national team, taking them to the quarter-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and also leading them at the 2014 World Cup.

The timing of the appointment took most by surprise, given that they had literally only just sacked O'Neill. And the Forest fans had plenty of witty quips in response to the swift announcement on the clubs Twitter page.

Many also responded with their unhappiness at how O'Neill had been treated. He is of course something of a club legend from his playing days under Brian Clough, and some have openly criticised owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi.

It will be interesting to see how the new manager gets on in the Championship. The pressure is certainly on with the club expecting promotion to the Premier League, can he be the man to get them there after so many failed attempts?