Martin O’Neill has praised Nottingham Forest star Ryan Yates on this week’s edition of the Garibaldi Red podcast. The 24-year-old broke into the first team on a regular basis under the former Reds incumbent.
Yates is now a household name in the senior Forest ranks. He’s worked his way through the youth ranks and despite a barrage of criticism from some supporters, he’s now one of the first names on the team sheet.
The midfielder spent some time out on loan earlier in his career. He joined Notts County, Scunthorpe, Barrow and Shrewsbury all at various points as he got to grips with life in the EFL.
O’Neill was immediately impressed though. When he was appointed as the manager in 2019, Yates was handed a chance to shine at Forest and fairly quickly he became a regular in the starting eleven.
The rest as they say is history. Yates is now a regular in the Forest team and with O’Neill promoting his autobiography that’s on sale now, he’s been discussing just how much he rated the academy graduate.
He told the Garibaldi Red podcast: “His attitude was fantastic, his attitude to training. He was ready every single day and he was only a young lad then.
“It’s really nice to see him doing well, especially last season, scoring the goals that he’s capable of doing. He’s a strong midfielder and it will be nice to see him continue that at this level.”
O’Neill praised Yates and he’s starting to prove his worth
Earlier this season, some had suggested that Yates wasn’t up to the Premier League. It wasn’t an unfair assessment as he had struggled during his first few appearances in the top flight.
Like lots of players, however, he merely needed a little bit of time. Now, under Cooper’s guide and faith, he’s starting to showcase to everyone that he’s more than capable of playing in the Premier League.
O’Neill might not be able to take credit for much during his time as the Reds’ manager. He can definitely lay claim to Yates though and it was the 70-year-old who gave the midfielder his chance to star.
The challenge for Yates is now pretty clear. He simply has to produce the goods on a regular basis and if he does that there is no saying where he could end up during his career.