SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Keane learns from the best, the battle is on!

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006

KEANE LEARNS FROM OLD MASTER:

BEGINNER boss Roy Keane has been taking advice from the best over the last week – making regular phone calls to Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that his former captain has constantly been in touch since taking charge at the Stadium of Light.

And while Ferguson has told Keane he will have to be more flexible and tolerant as a manager than he was as a player, the signs are there that Keane is already adapting to the job by virtue of the fact that he’s ready to be guided by advice from others.

Ferguson said: “Roy must have rung me up half a dozen times already in the first week at Sunderland.

“The first thing he said was: ‘I never thought it would be like this. I’ve never been off the phone.’

“And I said to him: ‘I told you it’s a difficult job!”

It’s perfectly understandable that Keane has been helping BT’s profits – all that phone work was vital to get six new players in within 48 hours of being unveiled as Black Cats boss – but in some ways the real work begins now.

And Ferguson’s main advice is for Keane to learn to accept the failings of others and to find different pleasures in the game as a manager to the ones he used to enjoy as a player.

He said: I’ve wished Roy well, and told him he will have to learn to tolerate things in football that he doesn’t agree with. The most important think he has to do is find a way of enjoying the job.

“Some players think they know what it’s like to be a manager but they don’t know. They can’t do. You’ve got to be prepared to learn and you’ve got to find a way to enjoy it.

“If you can’t deal with the pressure and can’t enjoy the job then you’re going to be in trouble. In management, you’ve got to accept the challenge.

“You’ve got to try and enjoy the job because if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to do the job right anyway.”

THERE’LL BE A REAL BATTLE FOR PEGS NOW!:

THERE’S so many extraordinary things happening at Sunderland Football Club at the moment that it’s difficult to take it all in.

But the thing which made the most impact on me was that Sunderland somehow signed SIX players in one day.

It was weird hearing one signing coming in after another and by the end of the day, I think we were all mentally drunk, trying to take in just how many players were coming in.

It is the busiest transfer day ever in the history of Sunderland Football Club and it is set to have a massive effect on the nature of the squad – hopefully all for the best.

I’ve been in dressing rooms when a club had made a double signing and it gives everyone in the squad a bit of a lift, just like it generates excitement among the club’s fans.

But SIX players – that’s half a team – and my first thought is there’s going to be one hell of a scramble for pegs in the changing rooms now!

Seriously, it’s going to produce an enormous change in the make-up of the squad and such a change in such a short space of time is almost unheard of.

It is clear that Roy Keane is determined to change that losing mentality Quinn talked of by changing the whole character of the club.

What is encouraging is that he hasn’t been taken in by the Albion result.

He could have watched that game and thought everything was rosy in the garden but he’s obviously looked at things in the long-term and decided that there had to be big changes.

Personally, I thought he game against Albion was far more reflective of the overall abilities of the current squad than their previous four performances.

But Keane has obviously decided that it’s unlikely to continue and he needs to strengthen throughout the team. It suggests to me that the new manager has a clear idea in his mind of what he wants to achieve and he’s not prepared to gamble on the chance of the current squad coming good.

The fact that he has brought in so many experienced heads and so many bodies means he will have plenty of players to choose from in the weeks ahead.

But perhaps more importantly, the signings should get rid of that previous losing mentality.

Because instead of having a couple of players coming in and having to adjust to the squad, there are so many players coming in on this particular occasion, that the squad will also have to adjust to the new players.