Roy Keane discusses managerial career and desire to return to the touchline

Roy Keane says that he wants to get back into management – and has revealed that he had an interview with a Championship club this summer.

The Irishman hasn’t been involved in club management since being dismissed as Ipswich Town manager back in January 2011.

Prior to that, he spent two years at Sunderland, where he guided the club to promotion to the Premier League in his first season.

Keane would later go on to serve as assistant manager to Martin O’Neill at Republic of Ireland and Nottingham Forest, and to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa.

He now works as a pundit for Sky Sports and ITV, amongst others. Although he says he is “pretty content” with what he is doing at the moment, he adds that he does want to return to management.

Speaking to The Overlap with Gary Neville, he said: “When I went into management, Sunderland were second-bottom of the Championship.

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“Sunderland was a great club for me. I could have done better at Ipswich, but there were plusses at Ipswich.

“I think there’s something in there where I could be a good manager. That’s what’s kinda pulling at me to go back in.”

Keane discusses time at Sunderland

Looking back in more detail at his time at Sunderland, he explained: “We get promoted – down to the players. The players did brilliant and I got good backing, good recruitment.

“We stay up in the Premier League. I remember we stayed up, and I see managers now and they’re getting carried around the pitch. I remember in the dressing room, still a bit agitated that we could have done better.

“The season I left, we were averaging a point a game, I think, in the Premier League, and we were in the quarter-finals of the League Cup. But I was still agitated – I thought we should be doing better. So that was my lack of experience.

“I wish, for example, I’d maybe rang somebody like Terry Venables or somebody for a bit of advice, and they would have probably said to me, ‘You’re doing well, you’re doing fine, relax’.

Keane also revealed that he believed the Black Cats would “automatically” climb the league in their second season in the top flight – but says he now accepts that it takes “three or four years” to establish a club in the division.

“When we stayed up the first season with Sunderland, for some stupid reason I thought we would then automatically go up another five or six places, which is madness,” he said.

“When I see teams now – we do the TV – you see teams stay up and you go, ‘They’ve done brilliant’. I’d say, ‘What’s the priority next year’ and it’s to stay up again.

“It’s about survival for the first three or four years, and you see that with every team that gets promoted. But I just didn’t see that in myself. I just got a bit impatient, and I was in the last year of my contract.

“I think part of my mindset was, ‘I need to really get another step up, to maybe get a contract or move on to another club’.

“Yeah, I was in talks about a new contract. Because we lost one or two matches towards the end of my time there, I was kind of reluctant to sign a new contract, as if I was panicking.

“Then we lost a few matches and I didn’t want to be seen to be desperate by signing it. Then, before you know it, I’d left.”

Keane on management opportunities

On the opportunities he has had to return to club management, Keane explained that he had a recent interview with a club in the Championship.

He said: “I’ve had interviews recently. I spoke to a Championship club about three months ago.

“Very casual, very casual. It was at my house, a chat with the chairman.

“To be fair, he was straight up. He went, ‘Listen, we just want somebody who comes in and wins football matches’.

“That was fine with me. I didn’t have to break down styles of play, and I think if you’re winning matches, people don’t then question, ‘what’s your style of play?’.

“You just bounce on to the next match, don’t you? We’ve done it as players.”

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