Saturday 21 July 2018

'People should lighten up' - Roy Keane addresses Liverpool 'back garden' comment

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during a Republic of Ireland press conference at FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during a Republic of Ireland press conference at FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane has clarified his comment that he wouldn’t watch Liverpool if they were playing in his back garden and insisted he has huge respect for the Anfield club.

Keane’s cheeky snipe was delivered in his role as an ITV Sport pundit last week, with his suggestion that Jurgen Klopp’s side were ‘way behind’ their Premier League rivals part of his feisty assessment of Liverpool’s trophy hopes of this season.

“It’s hard to figure out Liverpool at the moment, it’s hard to get excited about them,” said former Manchester United captain Keane.

“For me they are going nowhere fast and come the end of the season when the prizes are being handed out, Liverpool will be nowhere near.

“I think if they were playing in my back garden, I wouldn’t watch them. It’s a pretty big (garden), but let’s be honest they are going nowhere.

“The big picture for Liverpool moving forward - they are way behind the other teams.”

The response from Liverpool fans to those comments were predictably hostile, but Keane has now insisted his observations were partly in jest as he addressed the media at a press conference on Tuesday.

“It was a bit of tongue in cheek,” stated Keane as he was asked about his Liverpool comments.

“Anyone who has ever spoken to me about football will tell you the huge respect I have for Liverpool. I grew up watching them in the 80s winning leagues every year.

“My comments were tongue in cheek and hopefully people will see it that way. People should lighten up a little.”

Comedy and Keane rarely go together, but it appears that the former Ireland skipper is eager to put this latest incident down to one of those ‘lost in translation’ moments.

Online Editors

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