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Manchester Evening News

'He wouldn't speak for a month' - Man United icon Roy Keane's ruthless management style revealed

Damien Delaney has lifted the lid on what it's like to be managed by Manchester United legend Roy Keane.

The Irishman is outspoken in his punditry and is well known for his no-nonsense, hard-hitting approach. He's been out of the managerial game since 2011 but has enjoyed spells as an assistant with the Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

Keane managed Delaney during their time at Ipswich Town, and the defender has admitted he wasn't the easiest person to work with. He even went as far as to claim it was impossible to have a close relationship with the former United man.

"It was a difficult time, he always picked me every week - which, by the way, he didn't do with many people - he'd have a go at me after a game and then not speak to me for about a month," Delaney told Virgin Media. "But he'd still pick me and that's the only saving grace, as a footballer all you want to do is play and as long as the manager picks you, you'll put up with anything.

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"And I did. So I learned mentally how to deal with him at half-time, full-time or a Monday morning, I just kind of switched off and thought 'well, he keeps picking you so stop complaining, you're playing'. There was other players who were training with the reserves or aren't playing. So I kind of rationalised it in my head and he picked me so that overrided everything. Absolutely not, no way (he could have a close relationship).

"You just tried to stay out his way as much as you could and train and just try do what he wanted because it was quite clear what he wanted, you just tried to do that in training. But if you did make a mistake, he did come down on you if you gave the ball away or fell for something, he'd come down on you pretty hard - some more than others.

"Obviously me, a lot of it. He was okay, I was big enough to deal with it, I tried not to let it get to me - of course, it does to an extent. But you do your best not to but it's not an environment you would say you could flourish, you're battling - that was a difficult 18 months."

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