Nottingham Forest took a big hit to their promotion hopes after suffering a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham United. The Reds finished the weekend ninth in the Championship with 57 points from 40 games, five adrift of the playoffs. Forest have picked up only one win from their last four games and supporters have turned on Martin O’Neill for the part he’s played in their demise.
Under mounting pressure, previous manager Aitor Karanka left the club on January 11 and was replaced by O’Neill less than a week later, but the change hasn’t had the desired effect. With Karanka being a popular manager, Forest were keen to play down the notion of him being sacked. They said in a club statement that the coach ‘asked to be released’ but Nottinghamshire Live’s Paul Taylor believes he jumped before being pushed.
O’Neill’s appointment hasn’t gone to plan for the board, however, with the Reds further down the table and a bigger distance from the playoffs than when Karanka went. At the time of his departure, Forest were seventh with 39 points from 26 games (1.5 points-per-game), four adrift of the top-six and no side had lost fewer games (5) at the time.
Under O’Neill (13 games in charge), the Reds would be 10th in the table with 18 points from 13 games (1.38 points-per-game) had the season started in mid-January. Forest have lost five times in half the amount of games Karanka managed and have made no progress on reaching the playoffs. Stats speak for themselves…