SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Keane honeymoon over after Ipswich defeat

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Here’s a look back at what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago.

THE HONEYMOON IS OVER ... AND HEADS WILL ROLL IF PERFORMANCES DON’T IMPROVE

Robbie Elliott admits the honeymoon is over for Roy Keane’s Sunderland.

And he accepts that a few of the players’ Black Cats careers will also be over with many more performances like the one that saw them lose 3-1 at Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Keane’s injury-hit side looked a shadow of the slick outfit that put West Brom, Derby and Leeds to the sword so recently as they fell to a deserved defeat at Portman Road, where they also had Ross Wallace sent off on a day to forget.

Elliott said: “The honeymoon period is over. It was a very disappointing result and a very upset dressing room. We know we were not at the races as we were against Leeds and West Brom.

“We’ve got our ideas about why it didn’t happen for us and we need to rectify things for the home game against Sheffield Wednesday.

“What was said in the dressing room afterwards stays in the dressing room, but the lads know where we all stand and we know we have to improve if we want to stay at the club, never mind wanting to go places with this club.”

After the highs of away victories, Sunderland have been brought down to earth with a home draw against Leicester and then defeat to Town.

“Football is a game where things can change overnight,” said the full-back.

“Now we have to react positively and look forward to a tough encounter at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

“We were up for it against Ipswich and went there expecting to win, but for whatever reason we didn’t get into our stride. We didn’t make their keeper make a save and if we want to win games we have to do better.

“A couple of defensive errors let us down on Saturday.”

Winger Wallace was sent off for a second yellow card offence to leave Sunderland with a mountain to climb when they were already trailing 3-1.

It was a heated encounter at times, particularly during a series of first-half spats that saw groups of players squabbling over incidents.

Elliott added: “I like to see a few tackles in a game if they’re honest enough. There was nothing dirty out there.”

YORKE: WE DON’T NEED TO COPY KEANE

Dwight Yorke has told his Sunderland team-mates not to try to be hard men just because Roy Keane is their manager.

The tackles were flying as the Black Cats went down 3-1 at Portman Road on Saturday, Keane losing for the first time as a manager.

Ross Wallace was sent off for two yellow card offences and Dean Whitehead could earlier have gone the same way as referee Mike Russell struggled to keep control of proceedings,

Yorke, who made his first start for the Black Cats, said: “You can’t go tearing around the pitch looking for scraps here and there.

“We are trying to play with aggression, but there was a lot of handbags stuff out there.

“The game got out of hand and there was no need for it. People got caught up in that too much and there was no need for it.

“I am sure the fans love to see people scrapping and getting into a fight, but you lose credibility.

“Roy Keane was a special player but it does not mean you try to go out and emulate him.

“We have to concentrate on playing the game more than thinking about what the gaffer was about (as a player).”