Saturday 17 August 2019

'Roy Keane is a lot softer than you think' - Jason McAteer

Ireland's Jason McAteer, left, and Roy Keane pictured in 1998
Ireland's Jason McAteer, left, and Roy Keane pictured in 1998

Jason McAteer has lifted the lid on Roy Keane's hard-man persona, claiming that it is all an act and that the Corkman is a lot "softer" than you think.

McAteer has a history with Keane and the pair have clashed on numerous occasions in the past.

But, despite the hard-man reputation and fierce aggression he had on the pitch, McAteer reckons the Corkman plays up to the media and behind Keane the enforcer is a soft centre.

“What you see on the telly when he’s doing press conferences, that’s his character. He’s not like that really,” said McAteer on Sky Sports' Goals On Sunday.

“Does he play a role? I think he does... well I know he does. He can play it to the media and the public and he has this hard-man persona. But he has got a sense of humour and he is funny when he wants to be.

“Is he softer in the dressing room? Very much so. He will get annoyed, but he’d be a lot softer than you’d think.”

McAteer did admit, however, that there have been times when everyone was at the end of a Keane tongue lashing and they have come out all the better for it.

"He is very demanding. He wants you to reach the heights that he demands," added McAteer.

"I remember we went to Holland in the first game of the campaign, went 2-0 up and ended up drawing 2-2. We were celebrating it as a great result, he was fuming we gave the goals away.

"We were sat there celebrating as if it was a great result and he was fuming that we'd give the two goals away. He was fuming and you look at it and think 'he's right'.

"He demands and it brings the best out of you."

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