Packed out City Ground to welcome Martin O’Neill home for Nottingham Forest’s Championship match with Bristol City

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 15: Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill looks on during the International friendly football game between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 15, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 15: Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill looks on during the International friendly football game between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 15, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

A packed house is set to welcome club great Martin O’Neill back to the City Ground, as he takes his first game in charge of Nottingham Forest.

The new Reds boss, appointed as Aitor Karanka’s successor this week, has had just a few days to prepare a team for the visit of Bristol City.

But there will be no shortage of support for the former midfielder who was one of Brian Clough’s Miracle Men to lift back-to-back European Cups.

O’Neill’s appointment was met with mixed emotions on social media, but the waters have calmed in recent days ahead of his first game.

The 66-year-old brings a wealth of experience with him both as a player and as a manager, with close to 25 years in the dugout behind him.

O’Neill has worked his way up the ladder, starting in non-league where he won the Conference title with Wycombe Wanderers and promotion the following year via play-offs.

After a brief stop-off at Norwich City, he took over at Leicester City. With the Foxes, he gained promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs and won two League Cups.

Trophy-laden years at Celtic followed before he established Aston Villa as a top six Premier League side. He saved Sunderland from relegation in his first season there and took Republic of Ireland to the last 16 of the 2016 Euros.

Now, after a long-time linked with the Forest job, he will finally take his seat in the City Ground home dugout on Saturday.

Forest’s Twitter account posted: “There is set to be a fantastic atmosphere on Trentside as #NFFC fans have snapped up all of the tickets available to see Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge of The Reds against Bristol City.”