“It has a great history and that is phenomenal. If someone comes down here from Mars in 300 years, that [history] will be there and that is great,” he said.
“When you go abroad and you talk to ex-players like Juventus players, Inter Milan players, Bayern Munich players and they go ‘ah, Nottingham Forest’ talking about like that because we had success
“But you cannot go on forever and the generations move on. It is two generations now, since the team was in the Premier League.
“I have to do this now. Time is pressing. No one gets any time these days, and the minute you step into a football club, it doesn’t matter, you’re expected to get going immediately. “
Forest will be O’Neill first job at club level since March 2013, when he was dismissed by Sunderland. He has already taken two full training sessions after succeeding Aitor Karanka and is close to making Yohan Benalouane, the Leicester centre-half, his first signing in an 18-month deal.
His first game, against Bristol City, is already sold out and Forest are only four points adrift of the play-off places.