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'Roy Keane was a world-class player, despite what Sir Alex Ferguson says'

Martin O’Neill has backed his assistant after the former United manager’s controversial comments.

IRELAND BOSS MARTIN O’Neill has spoken of his relationship with Roy Keane in a new Setanta Sports interview with the Ireland manager.

O’Neill defended Keane after former manager Alex Ferguson earlier this year implied that the Corkman was not a world-class player.

“Roy Keane was a world-class player, despite what Sir Alex Ferguson says,” the Ireland boss said.

“He drove that side, not for a month, not for two months, but for about a decade, and he drove them on to success after success.

They had great players at Manchester United, but none were as forceful as he was.”

And of Keane’s image as “a growler,” O’Neill added: “Sometimes it’s absolutely spot on and other times, it can be a wee bit misplaced… He has been very important to us.”

You can watch the interview at 6pm today on Setanta Sports 1 or at 5pm tomorrow on Setanta Sports Ireland.

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Paul Fennessy

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