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Football

Roy Keane Demanded Manchester United Squad To Follow A Strict Rule For Training Sessions

Jack Kenmare

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Roy Keane Demanded Manchester United Squad To Follow A Strict Rule For Training Sessions

Darren Fletcher has given a fascinating insight into the incredibly high standards former Manchester United captain Roy Keane instilled into his teammates.

The former Scotland midfielder, who spent 20 years at Old Trafford between 1995 and 2015, reveals that Keane demanded his teammates turn up to training 45 minutes early so that they could "mentally prepare" for the task in hand.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Fletcher was all but complimentary towards the former Ireland international, calling him "an unbelievable player" and the "ultimate captain" in a recent interview.

"I loved the guy and he was the ultimate leader," Fletcher told The Lockdown Tactics.

"The manager used to say to me 'watch the first-team players on the pitch and watch them off the pitch'. You know what it's like in the dressing room when you're quiet and you're young and most young lads would go in the dressing room and couldn't wait to get out, I used to sit and enjoy being in there. '

"Although it was speak when you're spoken to at the beginning, I was watching, learning, how these guys thought, how they prepared, how they talked, their mindset I was learning from all of them.

"Roy Keane was the ultimate leader and captain, an unbelievable player and the preparation for training, he was the one who brought in this you come in 45 minutes before training, you mentally prepare for training, how you train, how you go about your day, how you face up to challenges, what it is to be a Manchester United player."

"He was hard on you, coming to a meeting on time wasn't good enough, you had to be five, 10 minutes early, being late was not even a question," said Fletcher.

"Testing you all the time, but it was coming from the right place because he recognised that you were capable and you could handle it, and he just wanted you to know that this is what it means to be a Manchester United player and I'm thankful for that because it allows you to have a long career in the game.

"Some times you might think 'oh my god he's hard on me' but people don't see the other side, the nine out of 10 times where he's given you a compliment and he's pulled you and he's maybe just said, 'well done today, son' but people didn't want to tell those stories about Roy Keane or players in the dressing room because they're not good stories to tell, people want to tell about the times where he has a go at you or he's hard on you, because they're better stories to tell and it fits into the Roy Keane character."

Image: PA
Image: PA

Over his 16-year career, Roy Keane built himself a no nonsense, tough tackling reputation that struck fear into players, managers and even referees - minus David Elleray who loved to show Keano the red card at every possible opportunity.

From 'that' bust-up with Patrick Vieira in the Highbury tunnel, ending Manchester City's Alf Inge Haaland's career and stamping on Southgate's chest, Keane's career was filled with huge controversies.

And in addition to stories about his playing career, tales about the midfielder's attitude away from the field tend to emerge on a regular basis.

Former Manchester United left-back Gabriel Heinze certainly felt the wrath of Keane's temper.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Heinze revealed that after one particular defeat, Keane literally knocked the Argentine defender out after he stood up to him in the changing room.

"We lost a game and I went in the dressing room first and Roy Keane was second. I liked to go first after the game. I didn't want to speak to anyone as we lost," Heinze told Argentine television.

"I didn't understand English, just the bad words. I heard my name and 'f*** off' by Roy Keane, the best player.

"I knew that was bad so I stood up to him, this idol of Manchester, this great guy who everyone loved, and replied: 'F*** off, you'. I don't remember what happened next."

Heinze then confirmed that he was KO'd by Keane. Crazy.

Topics: Football News, Football, Manchester United, Premier League, Darren Fletcher, Roy Keane

Jack Kenmare
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