KEANE ON KEANE
Robbie Keane said it was not hard to detect the managerial credentials of his namesake and Sunderland boss Roy during the former Republic of Ireland captain's playing days.
Robbie Keane said it was not hard to detect the managerial credentials of his namesake and Sunderland boss Roy during the former Republic of Ireland captain's playing days.The ex-Manchester United midfield enforcer took over at the Stadium of Light at the end of August last year with the team on a pretty low ebb having lost five out of their first six games but the more senior Keane, in his first management post, drove the Black Cats to the top of the table and the Championship title.
"Oh yes, anyone could see it, he had and has all the credentials to be a top manager," said Robbie on his old Republic teammate. "He has already proved something with winning the Championship after taking over when Sunderland were at the bottom end. It was remarkable and full credit to them.
"When I was playing with him he had an aura about him and the respect of all the players," added Robbie, who expects a big test in the seasonal opener.
"Obviously it is a massive occasion for them with having just been promoted to the Premier League with Roy in charge. It will be a tough game as it always is against a newly promoted side, especially with it being up there with the fans who really do get behind them.
"It will be a different experience for some of the new lads who will never have witnessed it before and it will be a great experience for them in their first game. It is one we are looking to get a good win in after a strong pre-season."
From our own perspective, pre-season has gone according to plan with seven wins from as many games. Robbie is now looking for the winning run to continue into the new campaign.
"It has been good, but the most important thing in pre-season is your fitness and getting yourself ready for the start of the season. You do want to win the games though, to get that winning mentality and in the last three pre-seasons now it has gone well for us.
"It is important now to bring that into the season.
"It has gone the way we've wanted but, as a player, we just want to get on with it now - the real stuff, which is the Premier League. We are looking forward to Saturday's game and all the players are raring to go."
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