There’s one young Nottingham Forest midfielder who has certainly benefited from Martin O’Neill’s arrival at the club.
The Reds have missed out on the play-offs after a disappointing end to their Championship campaign. However, O’Neill’s side have recently picked up back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.
The most recent of these victories came at the weekend against Queens Park Rangers. Even though they’ve failed to gatecrash the top six, it’s still vitally important to end the season on a high.
At this stage, it’s case of finishing as high as they can. They have one more game to play against Bolton Wanderers at the City Ground. O’Neill may be tempted to be a bit more experimental ahead of next season.
There’s no doubt that O’Neill’s arrival has been positive news for Ryan Yates.
The 21-year-old midfielder has started 13 games under the Northern Irishman, after not being involved at all under Aitor Karanka. This is testament to the youngster’s performances considering he has kept a number of other experienced players out of the side.
O’Neill believes that having a run of games will stand him in good stead for next season.
He told the Nottingham Post: “He is adding a bit of a weight of pass to his game. Sometimes he has played here and he has been resilient, he had been strong but, when the ball was coming to him, he was trying to get rid of it too quickly in matches.”
“Now he is starting to grow into things, which is really good. He will improve for next season, as well.
“If you have some of those attributes; if you want to try and improve – and these young lads want to improve – you definitely have a chance.”
It seems that securing back-to-back wins has eased the pressure that O’Neill was under after four consecutive defeats. But even if he was to lose his job, it’s fair to say that Yates would probably still be a key part of the new manager’s plans.
He has produced a number of superb performances, most notably against West Brom, which have shown supporters what he is capable of.