Soccer

Roy Keane was punched by Forest icon Brian Clough but it was ‘right thing to do’

Roy Keane reckons that legendary former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough was 'right' to punch him after he gave away a goal with a short back-pass as a youngster.

Having come through the youth system at Cobh Ramblers, Keane was brought into English football by Clough and went on to play 123 games under the twice European Cup winning manager before joining Manchester United.

Appearing on Sky Sports as a pundit during the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between his two former sides, Keane recalled a time in which Clough put him in his place.

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When asked about his time working with Clough, Keane said: "Great memories for myself, obviously we had three great years, he signed me, gave me an opportunity in the first team. He was very tough on me, but fair.

"He gave me a few harsh lessons, particularly if he thought I was getting carried away or over-celebrated a goal or in contract negotiations.

"He was very tough on me but great time, brilliant manager, and I’m very grateful to him. It always seemed fair, but obviously he was an experienced manager and he’d obviously seen young players like me coming through before and he thought I’ll try and keep him grounded and I’ll be hard.

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"Looking back now, I remember he even punched me after a game one time, but it was probably the right thing to do.

"He was just trying to keep me grounded so the odd punch didn’t do any harm.

"[The reason he did it was] I gave a short back pass in a game against Crystal Palace here and it led to an equalising goal, which kind of wasn’t my fault – but that’s another story – and he kind of blamed me and after the match he punched me, but he was probably right."

Clough spent almost 20 years as manager at the City Ground and led them to First Division glory and four League Cups alongside their European heroics.

Keane career in management began after Clough's passing at the age of 69 in 2004, having spells with Sunderland and Ipswich before becoming an assistant.

In recent years he has adapted into being one of the most respected pundits in football, featuring for both Sky Sports and ITV.

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