Man Utd legend Roy Keane sets the record straight over “grumpy” reputation

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Old Trafford icon Roy Keane insists his bark is worse than his bite, claiming he was “relaxed” as a manager and learned lessons from senior Manchester United stars

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Roy Keane has stressed his bark is worse than his bite.

The Manchester United legend has not managed a club since leaving Ipswich in 2011.

Keane, 50, has worked closely as Martin O’Neill’s assistant with the Republic of Ireland and, latterly at Notts Forest, his last job in management in 2019.

But the 50-year-old Irishman has stressed his CV does not warrant the United job and the perception of him as a “grumpy” and volatile boss is not warranted.

“Believe it or not I was actually quite relaxed as a manager, I was really relaxed,” said Keane. “I didn’t lose it a lot with the players.

“Particularly at Sunderland because we had a decent group of lads. We lost a lot of games, but we had decent lads and they always had a go which, honestly, all that ever interested me.

“Even at Manchester United and, even with all the perception of me, I didn’t do much shouting.

“You need examples. When I came to England I went into a [Notts] Forest dressing room with players like Stuart Pearce, Des Walker and Nigel Clough, so I always had good players around me who I thought ‘is that how you’re going to behave if you’re going to be a footballer?’.

“I’m not saying these lads had halos above their heads, but I just like the standard they set.

“It was the same at United, I just loved the senior players, who I felt were all pretty decent lads.

“They set a standard at United – and I just tried to pass that on. I definitely wasn’t as stiff as everybody thinks I was.”

United face a big decision over their next manager this summer, with Ralf Rangnick currently occupying the dugout on an interim basis following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking in November.

Keane believes the Red Devils should go all out for a big-name addition like Diego Simeone, identifying the Atletico Madrid boss as the right presence needed to bring the players into line.

Keane said of the Argentine: “He’s having a difficult spell with Atletico. His race has maybe run with them.

Have Your Say! Would Diego Simeone suit Man Utd? Join the debate here.

“Simone, go and get him, he’s a big character.

“He’s done great things. He’s a great character, a big personality. He doesn’t mess around with players. Maybe someone like him coming into the club, could work.

“It can soon change. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom, there’s still good things going on at United, but they’ve got to get the manager.

“If the manager is not right, then the rest will just fall apart.”