Nottingham Forest. A club of rich history and huge expectations. Ambitions that haven’t been fulfilled in recent campaigns. Many managers, players, and probably fans have come and gone during the last six seasons of mediocrity.
Last week news broke that Neil Warnock could be the man to take the hot-seat and have a crack at promotion with the former European Cup winners. But is he the right man to lead Forest back to silverware?
Warnock’s eleven year playing career took him to eight different clubs, but to delve into the 67-year-old’s past you need to look at his managerial journey. His illustrious career in the dugout has earned him seven Football League promotions. Perhaps most importantly including two automatic advancements with Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers respectively.
His recent history has taken him into the lower depths of England’s second tier. He spent a season in the Elland Road hot seat before his most recent appointment at Rotherham United. From the depths of almost certain relegation, the Yorkshireman steered them clear of the drop zone. He relinquished his role at the New York stadium a fortnight ago, possibly in search of one final promotion push.
The former Hartlepool player of the season is no stranger to pressure. He dealt with animosity from fans during his Leeds days. The expectant faithful at Bramall Lane pilled pressure upon his shoulders before his side gained promotion in 2006. Should he sign on the dotted line to take over at the City Ground, near 20,000 loud and proud voices will boom down onto the pitch. His experience gained in the Premier League, that predecisors such as Dougie Freedman and Paul Williams lacked, should give him the edge.
Warnock has admitted that he has been in talks with ‘several’ Championship clubs since his short term contract expired at Rotherham. The 11-game unbeaten run with the Millers that began in late March, has reportedly attracted interest from Blackburn Rovers since Paul Lambert was dismissed last month.
Wherever Warnock ends up, he will be fondly remembered for his touchline antics and boardroom bust ups. At 67, this could be his final swansong in management, and boy would he love to cap off an excellent career, with a final hell-raising promotion in front of some of the country’s most passionate supporters.