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02nd Apr 2015

Roy Keane certainly knows how to give a team talk

Always ready with a comforting arm around the shoulder...

Matt Stanger

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Roy Keane’s team talks can be a bit…sweary.

But his attempts at reverse psychology (or just brutal honesty) seemingly went too far during his spell as Sunderland manager.

In his new autobiography Rise Of The Underdog: My Life Inside Football, former Black Cats legend player Danny Higginbotham reveals Keane’s attempt to motivate the squad before a match at Aston Villa.

‘That game was the scene of one of the most bizarre team talks I’ve ever experienced, and that’s saying something from someone who had a childhood acquaintance give one,’ reads an extract in The Independent.

‘It was bizarre at the time, but turned out to be a stroke of genius.

”’Listen lads,’ he said. ‘Basically you’re s*it. Try and enjoy the game. You’re probably going to get beat. But just enjoy being s*it.”

‘Then he just walked out. Those words have got to be insulting to any professional, no matter who they come from, and I’ll admit it served as the perfect motivation to get out there and prove him wrong. I scored after 10 minutes and we were leading at half-time. We ended up drawing.’

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League

Another extract details how Keane told one of the younger players they would end up working at “f*cking Sainsbury’s” unless they improved, while the Irishman was also unimpressed by Higginbotham offering support to his teammates.

“Danny, all I’m f*cking hearing from you when I’m watching that game yesterday is f*cking encouragement. That’s all I’m hearing,” Keane apparently told the defender.

“I don’t f*cking want that. I want you to tell some of them they’re being c*nts. Tell them.”

It sounds like another must-read on the shouty former Manchester United captain.