Roy Keane has blasted the Old Trafford boo-boys and pressed them instead to support their team.Manchester United lost further ground on the top four at the weekend after drawing with Chelsea as Diego Costa’s stoppage-time goal cancelled out Jesse Lingard’s opener.
Speaking at a charity event in Armagh, Keane also ranged back over his own career, recalling the events in Saipan which rocked a nation and humourously contrasting that enduring controversy with his current role as Ireland assistant manager.
“It is up to the senior players to put their foot down, and I mean in a nice way, and I look back at Mick (McCarthy) at that time and a lot of it wasn’t Mick’s fault,” he said. “It’s not up to the manager to make sure the gear is there. There were a lot of frustrations, then you have an argument in front of a bunch of people and there’s no going back. I told Mick where to go.
“Am I proud of all that stuff? No, I’m not proud of it but sometimes you’ve got to fight your corner. Ironically now I’m back with Ireland and there’s a bit of craic with it. We fly on a nice flight and the players will say ‘Cheers Roy, thanks for that’ — and we also have kit.”
Looking ahead to the Euro 2016 challenge facing the two Irelands, the Belfast Telegraph reported Keane as quipping: “It is great for both countries though we will both do well to win a corner with the groups we are in!”
On the prospects for the Republic in particular, he observed: “We have a bit of spirit about us. As much as we are short in certain areas we do give it a go. We could lose the three matches but with Martin (O’Neill) there and a bit of luck, you never know.”
Keane also briefly addressed his own long-term management ambitions, saying: “If something came up after the Euros I would look at it and if I stay with Ireland, fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta has urged reported Chelsea target Massimiliano Allegri to “think twice” about accepting any potential offer from the Premier League champions.
The 48-year-old guided Juve to the Serie A title and the Champions League final last season and the Turin side’s prospects of winning multiple cups at home and abroad in 2015-16 are bright.
Allegri’s growing reputation — he also steered AC Milan to the Scudetto in 2011 — has reportedly attracted the interest of Chelsea, who are looking for a new permanent manager.
But Marotta insists Allegri, whose contract at Juventus expires next year, is already at a “top club”.
He said: “Football is a business and the role of a coach is important when it comes to breeding continuity.
“Chelsea are a top club and it’s obvious that they’ll want to look at the best coaches.
“All I can say is that Allegri is already at a top club, so he’d do well to think twice before leaving Juventus.”
Chelsea suffered a blow yesterday after France defender Kurt Zouma was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Zouma injured his anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s game and will this week undergo knee surgery.
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