Kevin Keegan's 'I will love it' interview - the full transcript
Full transcript of Kevin Keegan's post-match interview with Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray after Newcastle's 1-0 win over Leeds on April 29, 1996:
KEYS: Three weeks ago we saw you, and you were absolutely devastated and I think a lot of people felt for you. How do you feel tonight?
KEEGAN: I feel okay (laughter).
GRAY: What was the first 15 minutes like for you Kevin, anyway?
KEEGAN: I didn't think we played very well at all, first 15 minutes. I was disappointed because looking at the lads I got the feeling they were really up for it, but we then started to... once we got the goal, we started to play a bit and then second half, I mean, we never really got passing it, we gave it away, players that normally don't give it away were giving it at away, and at the end I said to Terry (McDermott), '1-0 will do it tonight'.
KEYS: Why was all that happening Kevin, do you think? Tension on the night?
KEEGAN: Yeah, I don't think you can discount it. I mean, we just want to keep our hopes alive, and a lot of things have been said over the last few days, some of it almost slanderous, and we've never commented, we just got on working, trying to pass the ball like we do in training...
KEYS: What do you mean by that? That people have been having a go at you and your team?
KEEGAN: No, no - I think things have been said about... I think you've got to send Alex Ferguson a tape of this game, haven't you? Isn't that what he asked for?
GRAY: Well, I'm sure if he was watching it tonight Kevin he could have no arguments about the way Leeds went about their job and really, they tested your team.
KEEGAN: And we're playing Notts Forest on Thursday, and he objected to that. Now, that was fixed up four months ago, we were supposed to play Notts Forest, I mean that sort of stuff, we're bigger than that.
KEYS: That's part and parcel of the psychological battle isn't it, Kevin?
KEEGAN: No, that's... when you do that with footballers, like he said about Leeds, and when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce, I've kept really quiet, but I'll tell you something, he went down in my estimation when he said that. We have not resorted to that, but I'll tell you, you can tell him now if you're watching it, we're still fighting for this title, and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something, and... and... I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.
KEYS: I mean, quite plainly the message is it's a long way from over and you're still in there scrapping and battling, and you'll continue to take any of these, just as long as you continue to get the results.
KEEGAN: I think football in this country is so honest, and so, honestly, when you look sometimes abroad you have your doubts, but it really has got to me, and I've voiced it like, not in front of the press or anywhere, I'm not even going to the press conference, but the battle's still on. Man United have not won this yet, not by any means.
GRAY: Kevin, talking about tonight because it was such a huge game for you and your players, they all must have realised, everyone at the club must have realised the importance of the result tonight. In that context, what was the most pleasing thing in your team's performance, do you think?
KEEGAN: The clean sheet.
GRAY: We're getting used to that, I'll tell you. Did you know that that's your seventh 1-0 victory this season?
KEEGAN: It's a club record three clean sheets on the trot (laughter) - while I've been here, anyway. But you know, sometimes you can't all be generals. When David Ginola and Peter Beardsley and people like (Faustino) Asprilla and Les Ferdinand and Robert Lee are turning it on, the other people have been passed by. But you know, they questioned our defence - our record's equal to anybody's, really, in this league. But when you're at the top, everybody's been having a pick at things, but I think people like Philippe Albert and Steve Watson and Darren Peacock tonight and young Robbie Elliott have done great.
GRAY: Yes, your back four did perform well. What's it going to be like on Thursday for you, with all these players back available? You have a selection dilemma, surely, for the first time in a while?
KEEGAN: Yeah, we've had a few injuries, but nothing major, and we've always had people like Keith Gillespie to come in for David Ginola. I think it goes without saying David will come back, but as for who makes way, I'll have to hope that someone picks up a strain (laughter).
KEYS: Well Kevin, thanks once again for joining us.
KEYS: Appreciate it.