Allardyce rejects Keane outburst but Bruce backs old mate

SAM ALLARDYCE has delivered a withering put-down to Roy Keane after the Cork man’s “bizarre” outburst at his former Manchester United team-mates who have become managers.

Keane, the new Ipswich manager, questioned whether Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes should be regarded as “good managers” or successful because they have yet to win a trophy.

But Allardyce, whose Blackburn team come up against Bruce’s Wigan side tomorrow, said Keane himself had a long way to go to be seen alongside either of his former United team-mates in terms of club management.

“I find that statement to be quite bizarre to be perfectly honest. What Sparky and Brucey have done with the resources they have had shows they are both top managers and very, very capable managers.

“I think that Roy’s a long distance away from a Steve Bruce and a Mark Hughes by his lack of experience in the job. So I find that quite a bizarre statement and I wouldn’t agree with that at all.”

Allardyce said that for clubs such as Wigan, being successful did not mean just winning trophies.

He added: “Being successful means being more consistent in their results and finishing higher up the table than they have ever done before.

“What Brucey has done in a short time at Wigan and getting them safe in the Premier League as early as he has done has been a tremendous achievement.”

However Bruce insisted yesterday that “football is better with Roy Keane back in it” despite the latter’s comments.

“The papers have gone on a slant today, and they have all been wanting that,” Bruce chuckled.

“They have all got together and thought: ’This is going to be our headline — we’ll hammer Roy’s mates.’

“I’m sure it was taken out of context, but the one thing I have always said about Roy is that, even in a little sleepy town like Ipswich, he is back page headlines, over two or three pages.

“For me, football is better with him back in it, because we were all intrigued on Thursday — with how he looked, what he was going to do, what he was going to say, and whether he was going to come out with something outrageous.

“I am glad he is back in the game, and I am sure he will be a success at Ipswich. He’ll put himself under enormous pressure — but that’s Roy. He seems to be excited by the challenge, which can only be good.

“I’ve known him since he was 20 years old, so if there is somebody who can understand him a little bit, I know where he is coming from.

“And he’s right! We haven’t won anything. Two promotions means nothing in his book. You have got to win the Premier League and the European Cup as a manager to be a success in Roy’s eyes. That’s the sort of standards he sets himself — but it is very difficult to do that.”

Bruce also pointed to Everton boss David Moyes as an example of a British manager who can consider himself to be a success despite never having put a trophy in the cabinet.

“This is, I think, the third year they are going to finish in the top six, and that for me is an unbelievable achievement — but he hasn’t won anything. You have got to be up at the other end and be competing against the giants, which I have to say is very difficult, because it looks to me as if they are getting further away from us all.

Man City boss Mark Hughes was equally unmoved by Keane’s comments.

“Roy is just making a statement,” smiled Hughes. “The media are very glad he is back on the scene because he is good value.”


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