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Tuesday 25 June 2019

'I left the next day' - Liam Lawrence describes furious training ground bust-up with Roy Keane during their Sunderland days

Liam Lawrence and Roy Keane
Liam Lawrence and Roy Keane

Former Republic of Ireland star Liam Lawrence has described how he and Roy Keane were involved in an altercation 24 hours before he left Sunderland for Stoke.

Keane's temper has become the source of a lot of discussions after details of his row with Jon Walters and Harry Arter have emerged in recent weeks.

He's expected to contact Arter soon in an attempt to get the Cardiff midfielder back in the fold.

Lawrence, who earned 15 caps for Ireland under Giovanni Trapattoni, outlined how he fell out with the Corkman in November, 2006 and joined Stoke City the following day.

Speaking on Sky Sports last night, he said: "We had a training ground bust-up on the Thursday, and by the Friday I was on my way down to Stoke. I suffered some of those words that he is using there as well, but about 20 more times!

"So I know what it's like to be on the back of his tongue. But yeah, I literally let the next day and was never seen there again."

Keane described the Lawrence bust-up in his book ,The Second Half.

The trouble started when the winger was forced on the sidelines during an 11 v 11 game on the training ground when there were too many players.

"He wasn't happy about it, and stormed into the dressing room," Keane writes. "He said he wasn't going to stand on the sideline.

"I said, 'See you in my office'."

The discussion in the office became more heated, but Keane needed to stamp his authority on the situation.

"It was a proper shouting match; it was more than that. It was intense."

"I think I might have grabbed him – there might have been a bit of grappling, when he started to leave the office.

"This was the first time a lad had defied me – and in front of the other players. So I'd had to think fast."

Keane admitted to "admiring" Lawrence for standing up for himself, but when Stoke called the following morning, he decided it was time to leave the player go.

"I said 'Yeah' – but not because of the bust-up."

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