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Roy Keane: My only playing regret is stamping on Gareth Southgate.. but it was his fault

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Roy Keane stamps on Gareth Southgate in 1995

Roy Keane stamps on Gareth Southgate in 1995

Roy Keane stamps on Gareth Southgate in 1995

Roy Keane has admitted the only time he feels he crossed the line regarding acceptable behaviour on a football pitch was when he stamped on Gareth Southgate.

Keane has always maintained he does not regret anything in his career, including his falling out with former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson or walking out on the Ireland squad before the 2002 World Cup.

But the Irishman, who did his coaching badges with Southgate and also worked with him as an ITV pundit, admits he went too far when he stamped on the former England defender during United’s 1995 FA Cup semi-final replay against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Nevertheless, the former United captain also quipped that defenders “should stay on their feet” so Southgate also had to take some blame for Keane’s studs coming down on his rib cage.

Asked in the latest edition of Four Four Two magazine whether that was the first time he had crossed the line on a pitch, Keane replied: “Yes, it probably was.

“But in my defence Gareth tried to cut me in half with a tackle. No one remembers that. He only got a yellow card whereas now he would probably get two months in prison. There was an element of self-defence with the stamp.

“There was some needle in that game and I had already got a knock on my ankle. I wasn’t going around stamping on people for the sake of it.

“I have said to Gareth since then that my advice to defenders is you always have to stay on your feet. So some of it was Gareth’s own fault.”

Keane also pointed out that, while everyone tends to go on about his reputation as a midfield enforcer, people forget he was also on the receiving end of some nasty tackles in his career.

Asked once again about the infamous tackle of Alf-Inge Haaland in the Manchester derby which led to heavy fine and lengthy ban for Keane, the Republic of Ireland’s assistant manager insisted he did not regret making the tackle, even though he has previously estimated it cost him around £400,000.

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“No, I don’t [wish I’d just pulled out of it],” he added. “You can’t go back and change everything. If I had started hesitating about getting the ball then I would never have got over to England in the first place.

“It is part of my game, I’m afraid. I am always being asked about tackles I made, but I will argue about this all day with people, because if you have a spare hour we can go through all the tackles that were made on me when I had to go off injured.

“I went off in an FA Cup Final after a bad tackle. And by the way, that Haaland tackle cost me a lot more than £400,000. I think I may have under-estimated it.”

Keane also tipped his former United teammate Ryan Giggs to be a successful manager. “You would hope so [he can become a good manager], but there’s no guarantee. You don’t really know….Giggsy has got as good a chance as anyone.”


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