Martin O’Neill must accept the “nature of the beast” that comes with being manager of Nottingham Forest, says Jack Colback.

A former Reds star knew what he was letting himself in for when returning to Trentside.

If he didn’t, then a revolving door at the entrance to his office should have told its own story.

O’Neill has stepped onto a merry-go-round that many before him have fallen off.

Plenty in double-quick time.

Patience has not been a commodity in plentiful supply at the City Ground.

Sometimes for good reason.

At other times, not so much.

O’Neill was, however, happy to take his chances, grab the reins and cling on for dear life.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design Beth Davenport

He has made it through five months.

The intention is to complete another 13 on the contract he penned upon his arrival.

A standing as a club legend means he has credit in the bank.

Some may have already passed judgement, but many more are happy to avoid snap decisions.

At least until the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

That is when O’Neill has vowed to either deliver a Premier League return or walk away.

He still has a big job on his hands to meet his own remit.

Progress was made to ninth spot in the Championship this season, but there is still a sense of the club treading water.

O’Neill needs to start making a splash.

He knows as much and it is not in his character to hide from any challenge.

Facing them head on is more his way of doing things – along with right-hand man Roy Keane.

Having enjoyed glittering careers as a player and manager, he has been around long enough to know how football works.

That means taking the rough with the smooth.

There will be no burying of collective heads in the sand, but neither will too much be made of plaudits and/or critics.



That is a mindset which stretches beyond the dugout, with the Forest squad adopting a similar approach.

Colback, who is still waiting to discover whether he will be heading back to Nottingham for a third spell at the City Ground, has given his take on O’Neill.

He said in the Nottingham Post: “I think the best managers in the world get criticism and stick at some point if they don’t win games.

“In football, there’s short memories. What you’ve done in the past gets forgotten about pretty quickly and it’s made irrelevant.

“It’s something that’s the nature of the beast.”

Colback knows that.

O’Neill knows it.

Those with said ‘short memories’ may be blind to it, but a united front is going to deliver greater reward from this point.

The divisions of the past have got us nowhere, so why not have a little faith?