‘I was Roy Keane’s team-mate then played under Man Utd icon – he hardly changed’

Ex-Manchester United star Kieran Richardson had a unique insight into the psyche of Roy Keane during his football career.

Richardson, 38, spent the first five years of his career at Man United and played with Keane – who was the captain of the club – for four years before the Irishman abruptly left due to a breakdown in relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson. Gary Neville took on the captaincy and led United to the 2006/07 Premier League title which was Richardson's first and only league title.

It ended up being his last season in Manchester as he was sold to Sunderland for £5.5million as he was reunited with Keane who began his managerial career with the Black Cats. Richardson exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone on what it was like having the 52-year-old as a captain, admitting that he "doesn't ask you for much".

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"Playing for Roy [Keane], having played with him at Man United, it wasn't weird for me," the 38-year-old said. "With Roy, he was a great captain and, for me, he was a great manager. Some players just can't handle the way he is. But he doesn't ask you for much; he just wants you to get the basics right. Run more than anyone else, and graft, and the rest takes care of itself. That's all he ever asked of us as players."

Richardson – who racked up eight England caps during his career – said nobody compares to Keane as a captain and said his personality as both a skipper and manager was similar. "I loved playing for Roy, and I loved him as a captain. You will not get any better than him as a captain, any player, at any club in the world.

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"He was very similar as a captain and as a manager. I loved it, because I'm one of those players who likes to be told. Some players don't like it; some go the other way." Keane ended up resigning from Sunderland in 2008 with his last head coaching club at Ipswich occurring over a decade ago.

While he's enjoyed stints as an assistant with the Republic of Ireland and Nottingham Forest in recent years, Richardson believes that the former midfielder can still be a "great manager". "I do really feel like there's a club out there for him," he said. He's still young, everyone knows his personality… why can't he go and manage somewhere?

"That's a question for him, not me. I just don't see why he can't still have a successful career in management in the next few years."

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