Former Nottingham Forest midfielder Steve Hodge is intrigued to see how Martin O’Neill fares in this summer’s transfer window.
That was the message from the 56-year-old who made 123 appearances for the Reds over a five-year period. The midfielder was a favourite of Brian Clough’s, and became a frequent goalscorer at the City Ground.
Martin O’Neill was appointed in the hope he could guide the Reds into the play-offs last season. However, this is something he was unable to achieve after taking over from Aitor Karanka.
As he inherited another manager’s squad, the priority for the Northern Irishman will be to stamp his authority on the squad this summer. This will undoubtedly involve him signing a few players of his own.
There will be a certain amount of pressure that comes with this. Evangelos Marinakis is likely to back O’Neill in the transfer market, but will be expecting consistent results next season if he does. He wants the Reds to be pushing for promotion to the Premier League as soon as possible.
Many supporters were left calling for the manager’s head towards the end of last season after four consecutive defeats. However, this was followed by three consecutive wins to end the season, which ultimately ensured O’Neill would remain in his position for next season.
However, it’s perhaps unfair to judge a manager on results when he’s only had one transfer window to work on the squad. That being said, O’Neill did already have a number of talented players at his disposal. He wasn’t inheriting a relegation threatened side. Nonetheless, he’ll be pleased to have the opportunity to sign his own targets.
‘He survives in a cutthroat industry’
According to Hodge, the Northern Irishman realistically needs at least two transfer windows at the City Ground before he can be properly judged. As it stands, he is currently working with a squad largely assembled by a number of previous managers.
Speaking to Champions Speakers, Hodge said: “It’s Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane’s first real window, so we’ll see how they wheel and deal.
“Some go foreign, Martin tend to go British, players he knows really well. But I’m hoping for a strong season next year – which means you’re challenging.
“O’Neill has won things wherever he’s been, he’s been a manager for thirty years. He survives in a cutthroat industry.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how the Reds fare in this summer’s transfer market. It’s fair to say that the names that have been linked with the club so far have been underwhelming to say the least.
However, O’Neill does already have the basis of a very good squad at his disposal. There’s no need to go out and sign seven or eight players this summer. The squad only needs two or three quality additions to allow it to push for promotion.