You do not have to stretch the imagination far to have Roy Keane merging into Robert De Niro.

“You talkin’ to me?”

Taxi Driver. Raging Bull. Take your pick!

It is also easy to picture the outspoken Irishman as the De Niro lead in ‘Meet the Fockers’.

Keane slots seamlessly into a patriarchal position at the head of a family.

What he says goes.

You don’t like it? Well you know what you can do.

“This is the circle of trust.”

“This is you.”

Keane’s return to the City Ground on Monday, which was announced on the club’s official website, has completed the Reds’ own ‘circle of trust’.

Spiritual home

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Allsport/Getty Images)

Martin O’Neill was already on board, with one icon returned to his spiritual home.

He has now been joined by another.

And one he knows well.

Two men who spent five years working alongside one another with the Republic of Ireland have been reunited.

They are now the men calling the shots on Trentside.

Step out of line and you can expect to know about it.

Find yourself outside the circle and there may be no way back.

O’Neill and Keane need to know who they can trust, and can be expected to conduct that assessment quickly.

There are just a matter of days left in which to freshen up the ranks.

If any of the faces don’t fit at Forest, then they are likely to find themselves heading for the exits.

A “learning curve”, which O’Neill has already discussed in the Nottingham Post, will be taken in quickly.

The edges will then be rounded out and a curve turned into something more spherical.

Keep pace

 

Once that process is completed, there will be no more excuses.

Tow the line or prepare to become very bored.

The Forest family continues to grow, with a familiar face welcomed back with open arms.

Others may follow by Thursday, but the doors will then be locked until the summer.

Keane can be expected to settle quickly into new/old surrounds and hit the ground running.

Those around him need to ensure that they keep pace.

He told the club’s official website: “It is good to be back and it will probably take a couple of days to get back in the swing of things.

“Obviously, I had great memories of my career here as a player, the club gave me my chance and I will always remember them for that.

“I am looking forward to it, a huge challenge ahead and 20 years out of the Premier League. It will be tough but I am looking forward to it.”

This is the circle of trust.