Roy Keane on Sir Alex Ferguson: I wouldn’t swap my time with him at Manchester United for anything
Roy Keane has extended an olive branch to Alex Ferguson after heaping praise on the former Manchester United manager, saying he wouldn't change the 12 years they spent together for anything.
And Keane also suggested he was ready to approach Fergie for a chat when they were on the same flight recently but decided to leave him alone as he was with his wife.
“I spotted him. He was with his wife and I thought, ‘Ah, I’ll leave him to it’.
“It’s a small world. Is there any kids here? I better not say what crossed my mind,” continued Keane, to loud laughter, before changing tone.
“I fell out with Ferguson towards the end but I had 12 and a half great years working with him and I wouldn’t swap it for anything. It was brilliant.
“When you’re in a sporting environment and trying to win football matches and there’s a lot of pressure, even when I was a manager, I liked people to fall out with each other.
“The fact I have disagreements with Ferguson, ex-team-mates. To me that’s the most natural thing in the world. I get worried if I don’t fall out with people every few months.”
Keane said he was always relaxed once he was in a group with a good work ethic.
“The important thing for me always, and when I was a player, people have this image that I was ranting and raving,” he explained. “My whole target is that everyone I’m working with gives 100pc because you’re going to lose a lot of football matches.
“People look at my career sometimes and say, ‘you’ve had a great career’ but a lot of my career was downs. I lost four or five cup finals, I lost league titles.
“Once everyone gives 100pc, then it’s fine by me. I’ve never lost a moment’s sleep once I knew everyone was giving 100pc.”
Keane also has warned that tough times lie ahead for the Ireland team due to the age profile of key members of Martin O'Neill's squad.
The assistant manager thinks that the Euro 2016 draw was unkind but still retains hope that Ireland can qualify for next summer's finals in France.
However, he is fearful about forthcoming campaigns because the marquee names are now in the veteran category.
"Our last game against Poland, Robbie's up front and Robbie's 34. John O'Shea at centre-half, he's 34. Shay (Given) was in goal and I think he's about 64," added Keane, with a smile, in a video promoting the launch of Irish Guide Dog Day.
"So it's tough, we're going to have a tough few years ahead of us.
"It was a very difficult draw for us when you look at the other groups. It'll be touch and go. Obviously we have to get a result against Scotland but once we give 100pc what will be what will be.
"Once the players have a go, that'll do me and if we qualify, fantastic. If we don't and everyone gives 100pc, I'll be just as happy."
The satisfaction in being part of a team that gives everything was a recurring theme in an interview discussion where the Corkman spoke about his fearsome reputation.
Belfast Telegraph Digital