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Keane happy to adopt 'firm but fair' approach to management

Published 21/09/2006

Sunderland boss Roy Keane will adopt the firm but fair approach he received from Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson as he hones his management style.

The 35-year-old, who had a fearsome reputation on the pitch, has insisted he will not be afraid to lay down the law when it is required, but will not be too hard on this players.

Keane said: ``I would always try to give the players the benefit of the doubt. The one thing I have learnt from Brian Clough and Alex Ferguson is I always thought they were fairly fair.

``If you made a mistake, they were quite happy to put their arm around you but eventually, they would come down hard on you.

``That is all you want as a player. If the manager is fair with you, you have no complaints.''

Keane's comments come in a week that marks the second anniversary of Clough's death, and he retains an enormous fondness for the former Nottingham Forest manager.

He said: ``He gave me my chance. He brought me over from Ireland and threw me into the first team when I think all the other coaching staff were doubting him.

``But there you go, he followed his instinct - and what a genius he was!

``People keep going on about him as a football manager, but I will always remember the stuff he did for me as a person especially when my family was coming over or if I wanted to go home. He was brilliant like that.

``Anything I wanted, he looked after me - but then again, when I did step out of line, he came down hard on me.

``I found him to be a very fair man, and obviously, he is sadly missed.''

Meanwhile, Keane is battling a growing injury crisis after losing full-back Stephen Wright until Christmas.

The 26-year-old former Liverpool defender underwent surgery yesterday - his third operation in the last two years - and will be sidelined for 12 weeks.

It is the latest in a series of blows for Keane, who despite the sizeable squad with which he started his new career, has a major headache for Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship trip to Ipswich.

Strikers David Connolly, Stephen Elliott and Daryl Murphy are out with thigh, ankle and hamstring problems respectively, while Jon Stead is rated at only 50-50 with a stomach strain and Chris Brown is touch and go with an ankle injury.

That could leave Keane with only 34-year-old Dwight Yorke and newcomer Kevin Smith available as he looks to continue his unbeaten start at Portman Road.

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