Roy Keane has namedropped Sunderland in a discussion over links between him and the interim manager role at Manchester United.
The Old Trafford club announced the appointment of respected German coach Ralph Rangnick this morning, with the 63-year-old set to take charge for six months before shifting into a consultancy role in the summer.
Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of that appointment, Keane was pressed on whether he would be interested in returning to Man United and while he was clear that he was not in the running, he couldn’t resist referencing his time at the Stadium of Light.
“They were never going to call me,” said the former Red Devils captain. “That was never going to happen.”
🗣 "People tend to forget I have managed before and I did okay in the Premier League with Sunderland!"
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 28, 2021
He added: “I’d have no problem going into any dressing room, trying to take control of any dressing room. I’ve managed in the Premier League, I don’t think it would’ve been a problem to me.
“It was never going to happen. People tend to forget I have managed before and I did ok in the Premier League with Sunderland.”
Keane spent a little over two years in charge of the Black Cats, having been appointed in September 2006 for what was his first role in management.
The Irishman won 43 of his 100 games at the helm – helping them win promotion to the Premier League as Championship winners and then achieving a 15th-place finish in 2007/08 before he stepped down in December 2008.
30 questions about Sunderland’s best strikers from the last 5 years – Can you score 30/30?
Keane’s time in charge of Sunderland is often overlooked given how high profile a pundit he is now and his time as a player at Man United but he deserves a fair bit of credit when you look back.
Not only did he win promotion to the top flight via the Championship title, he helped the Black Cats establish themselves at that level before resigning.
That’s not to say he should’ve been in the conversation for the United job but if Lee Johnson can go close to matching what Keane did, Sunderland fans will no doubt count his tenure as a success.
The Premier League is likely far from Johnson’s thoughts at the moment, with getting promoted out of League One the current focus.