Ryan Yates insists he remains unfazed by criticism from some Nottingham Forest supporters.
Yates has featured in every single game under Chris Hughton since the 62-year-old arrived at Forest in October.
The midfielder has made 23 appearances in all competitions this season, and scored his first goal of the season in a 3-1 win over Millwall at the weekend.
Yates is a player who is often criticised by a section of Nottingham Forest supporters after each game, with many overlooking the defensive steel and bite he adds to the midfield.
The 23-year-old has been a key player for Forest this season, especially in recent weeks as the Reds continue to turn a corner under Hughton, embarking on an unbeaten run of seven matches.
Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham ahead of tonight’s clash with Middlesbrough, Yates has insisted that criticism doesn’t faze him.
He said: “When I was younger and out on loan, I wasn’t as good mentally as I am now. When I was out on loan, when you look at the comments on social media, it affects you.
“But during that process I grew so much. I’ve broke into the first-team, and when you break into the first-team, you’re the best thing since sliced bread. I thought I was as good as Roy Keane at one point!
“But reality hits you, you realise you’re actually not that good and the negative comes – but you can’t take the positive and not look at the negative.
“It’s just something, as players, we have to live with. I’m really strong mentally, I’m on my own path. The way I work every day, I’m improving and want to get better. I want to play in the Premier League one day, with Forest.
“I don’t really care if someone on Twitter says I’ve been rubbish. I believe in myself, I’m on my own path and that’s where I want to get to.”
Yates will be hoping to help Forest towards a fourth successive win in all competitions tonight, in what promises to be a tough night for Hughton’s side on Trentside.
I personally find it baffling how much criticism Yates get from fans.
He isn’t the best of players on the ball, and he’d be the first to admit that, but that isn’t his game.
His game is all about breaking up play, recycling possession and adding a bit of presence in midfield.
Without him in midfield, Forest would be lost, and he’s one of those players whose absence is felt when he isn’t there.