Roy Keane recently left his post as Nottingham Forest’s assistant coach, citing a desire to return to management next season. However, the demise of Forest upon his arrival in January and the club’s lack of transfer budget this summer may have also been a factor in his decision.
The Reds suffered torrid form during the second half of last season and it cost them a Championship play-off place. Forest finished ninth in the division with 66 points, suffering four defeats in their last seven games of the campaign.
Between December 8 2018 and April 19 2019 the East Midlands club picked up only six wins from 23 games, drawing five games and suffering 12 defeats – 23 points. Forest picked up 26 points from 19 games under Martin O’Neill (1.37 points-per-game) compared to the 39 points from 27 games (1.44) prior to his arrival.
And after O’Neill and Keane’s collective failure to deliver the playoffs, Forest aren’t likely to spend the money necessary to put it right in 2019/20. It’s hard to blame Keane for jumping ship as next season could be testing for the Reds.
O’Neill had no problem with him leaving, telling the Derry Journal: “I have absolutely no problem with it. I’ve loved working with him it was great. We had some great days working together with the Republic of Ireland and qualification for the European Championships which were fantastic.
“But I think Roy always wanted to go back into management himself and I think he wanted to be his own man which I think he has been for a long time. We’ve had a really great time. He came and he said he would think about it (leaving) when the season was ending, and this is what he wants to do and good luck to him.”
Keane may want to become a manager again, but his failure at Forest and a subsequent lack of funds for transfers must have contributed with the decision. He was tasked with promotion and may not feel that’s possible with only free transfers and loanees being brought in.