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Nottingham Forest Player Details Struggles Of Playing Under O’Neill & Keane

Joao Carvalho has detailed his struggles with Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane’s style of play during their spell at Nottingham Forest.

O’Neill and Keane left their roles with the Republic of Ireland national team towards the end of 2018 and soon found themselves back in the dugout together at Championship club Nottingham Forest.

The pair struggled back at their old club, however, and were replaced by Sabri Lamouchi a few months later.

Keane O'Neill

Carvalho had signed for Forest in the summer of 2018 for a club-record fee of £15m and he found himself as an important player under Aitor Karanka in the club’s playoff push.

When Karanka left, however, and O’Neill and Keane took over, Carvalho found his playing time more limited and their approach to be much different.

Speaking in an interview with Maisfutebol, in quotes translated by, Carvalho gave an insight into the pair’s methods which was, in Keane’s case, in particular, more combat over quality.

Keane O'Neill

“Martin O’Neill was different: he is older and has other ideas. Then we also had Roy Keane as an assistant, and he also has a culture that will never leave his head.

“What is it? A culture of running more, it’s not at all about quality, but about combat. I don’t want to speak ill of him, because he was a great player and if I reached his level I would be very proud.

Keane O'Neill

“But his style as a coach is very similar to what he was about as a player: it is easy to identify. He worked hard and was very tough. As a coach, that’s how he is too.

“I stopped playing as much because our style of play changed. Before we had more than 50% of the ball and with them, we never had more than 45%. In one season, we had two coaches with different playing philosophies.

“If we are programmed to play in a way then the change isn’t easy. Things like a defender learning to pass the ball sideways then scolded and told to kick it long. Automatisms had been created.”

Keane and O’Neill left Nottingham Forest last summer.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]