Martin O’Neill hopeful of Roy Keane reunion at Nottingham Forest

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.

Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill says is he ‘hopeful’ that Roy Keane will join him as his assistant manager, as the former Manchester United midfielder was in the stands to watch the Reds defeat Wigan Athletic 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.

O’Neill and Keane worked together with the Republic of Ireland and given that Keane, like O’Neill, is a former Forest player, there was hope that he’d also be taking up a seat in the home dug out at the City Ground.

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Several factors mean that issue has still to be resolved but with Keane in attendance on Saturday, O’Neill is now optimistic he will get his right hand-man.

“I’m pleased that he’s here and I’m really hoping he’ll join up,” said the two-time European Cup winner.

“My invitation is always open to him. The very fact he took it up is good. He had some commitments in Ireland Thursday and Friday, these were long-standing engagements that he had to do. I didn’t know he was going to get here on time, I think he probably just got in around match time.

“I don’t think he would’ve been at the game if he wasn’t open to coming here. And if he does want to come, you can look at the DVDs but there’s no better place to look at the team than live.

“I’m really sorry I can’t be more categorical. Until everything is actually resolved, I can’t really say anything. I could be absolutely categorical here but then have a red face.

“I’m really hopeful he will come but Roy is Roy.”

Keane’s potential arrival at the City Ground is not the only fire O’Neill currently has an iron in as the Northern Irishman is also trying to stamp his mark on his new charges whilst also overseeing the clubs efforts in the transfer window.

Speaking after Saturday’s win, the 66-year-old bemoaned his current, hectic schedule whilst confirming the club are working hard on bringing in new faces with West Ham’s Reece Oxford the latest to be linked. There was also news on a departure from the club, with defender Danny Fox close to joining Saturday’s opponents Wigan.

“It’s the most awkward time in the world for everything to be happening for us,” said O’Neill.

“We’re talking about transfer deadline day next Thursday, working exceptionally hard to try and supplement the squad if we can.

“I don’t really want to lose that many players though it would seem as if Danny Fox will end up going to Wigan.”