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Interviews

We are ready

18 January 2019

Martin O’Neill says that the Nottingham Forest squad are up for the challenge of gaining promotion from the Championship as he takes on the manager’s job.

The Northern Irishman's first game in charge is against Bristol City tomorrow and he said that there is a good belief amongst the squad.

He said: "The players are up for the challenge. I have only taken two training sessions and there seems to be a really good spirit among the players.

"Incoming managers always say that; I'm sure there was one before I was here. We are ready and that is my task.

"It is not about projects. I don't think there is such a thing as long-term projects anymore in the game."

He added: "I don't think there is any other reason to be here [other than gaining promotion]. We want to try and drive on. We have slipped a bit in recent times but hopefully we can rectify that.

"The obvious hurdle is that you have to get to know the players really quickly, this is not a pre-season or something that you can take five or six weeks to sort out things and do a lot of stuff and get to know the players very well. I have to try and do that in ultra-quick time.

"That is not a major problem. There are a few suspensions and injuries to overcome too but this is it. This is what I want to do and if it doesn't happen I am here for 18 months then if we can't get up, I will gladly hand it over to someone else to try and do it."

The Forest fans have welcomed back one of their former playing heroes and O'Neill is grateful for the reception he has had.

"It has been great," he said. "There is that feeling because I belong to a successful period in the past. I think that supporters who are a little bit older than the new generations would look at it, but I am very excited about it.

"Of course, there is pressure too to not let the people down, pressure to do the best you can and that is what I am here for."


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