League One latest: Roy Keane sets record straight on his failed Sunderland return as former Oxford loanee proves there's life after Luis Diaz at European giants Porto

As always, there’s plenty of stories from League One which have fans from Pompey’s rivals glued to their phone or laptop.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 18th February 2022, 5:30 pm

So here’s a brief look at some of the top stories doing the rounds across the division.

Roy Keane explains breakdown in Sunderland return

Roy Keane has revealed why he’s not the new manager of Sunderland.

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The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfielder was the front-runner for the role following the Black Cats’ sacking of Lee Johnson.

Keane, who guided Sunderland to the Premier League in 2006-07, was interviewed for the position and looked set to return to the Stadium of Light.

However, a move in the end never materialised which saw former Preston boss Alex Neil become manager.

Speaking about the matter, the Sky Sports pundit said the deal simply wasn’t right for both parties.

Toni Martinez celebrates scoring for Porto against Lazio in the Europa League. Picture: Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Speaking on The Overlap Live, Keane said: ‘I've said it before. The deal has to be right for everyone.

‘It didn't fall into place last week. It wasn't meant to be. Everything has to be right. The right challenge.

‘The right contract. You have to fancy it and I've not had that opportunity the last few years.

‘There has not been a club where I think: “I'm the right fit for that club”.’

Former Oxford loanee shines on European stage

Former Oxford loanee Toni Martinez passed his audition to be the successor to Luis Diaz at Porto on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old, who spent the second half of the 2016-17 season at the Kassam Stadium, started for the Portuguese giants in their Europa League last 32 first-leg tie against Lazio.

It was his first start since Diaz moved to Liverpool for £37.5m ahead of the January transfer window.

And he didn’t let the Dragões down, scoring twice as the Primeria Liga leaders ran out 2-1 winners.

The European stage is a far cry from the level Martinez was operating at this time five years ago.

Unable to break into the West Ham first team, despite 12 goals in 13 Premier League 2 games, the then 19-year-old moved to Oxford to gain some much-needed experience.

And just like his latest Porto outing, the Spaniard didn’t let anyone down, scoring five goals in 17 appearances as the U’s finished eighth.

Martinez has been at the Estádio do Dragão since October 2020, scoring 12 goals in 41 appearances.