Roy Keane believes Manchester United are still a few years away from mounting a serious title challenge in the Premier League.
In the concluding part of his exclusive interview with the Sunday Independent, Keane says that while he can see improvement and expects his former club to close the gap on new champions Liverpool, and Manchester City, "there is a bit of work to be done yet".
"The league table doesn’t lie," he says, adding that he thinks United "are a bit short at the back".
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side currently sit sixth in the Premier League having gone 13 games unbeaten and have shown more consistency since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January. Last night, a late Harry Maguire goal in extra time saw the Red Devils secure a place in the FA Cup semi-final after a 2-1 win away to Norwich.
Even though he sees improvement at his former club, and at Chelsea, Keane says "it will be hard to get past Liverpool or Man City over the next 12 months".
And in a wide-ranging interview, Keane reflects on the positive impact that legendary manager Brian Clough had on his career and says that Roddy Doyle, who he collaborated with on the book, 'The Second Half', was "one of the best people I ever met".
Looking back on his time as assistant manager to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland, Keane says he "absolutely loved it", and expresses deep admiration for the Derry man.
"Meeting and working with Martin, I would put up there with any other highlight of my career," he says.
"Any other highlight. And that includes playing, which sounds bizarre because anyone who has played the game will tell you, it’s all about playing.
"Martin was brilliant. One of the best people I’ve met in football. I’ve always said the game is full of bluffers. Working with Martin was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in my career."
Read part two of the exclusive interview with Roy Keane by subscribing here or in the Sunday Independent.
It was early September last year and Roy Keane was in Dublin with Gary Neville for a gig at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, talking about their Manchester United glory years.