Keane takes swipe at Ipswich chief in first interview since leaving Portman Road
18:06 09 May 2011
ROY Keane has taken a swipe at chief executive Simon Clegg in his first interview since being dismissed as Ipswich Town manager last January.
Keane, who still lives locally and confirmed his desire to get back into management, says that Ipswich proved to be the wrong club for him.
Keane was in the Town hot seat from April 2009 but failed to find any consistent results with former skipper Jonathan Walters going on record to say that players felt as though they were ‘walking on eggshells’ in the then manager’s presence.
The former Manchester United midfielder for his part often made veiled criticism of Clegg and how important transfer deals failed to materialise once talks reached boardroom level.
“My mistake was that I agreed to take the Ipswich job before meeting their chief executive,” said Keane.
“That’s a vital role when you’re working with somebody so closely.
“I won’t be doing that again.
“Looking back now, Ipswich maybe wasn’t the right club for me.”
Keane is eager to give management another go, but is in no rush to do so with his assistant at Portman Road Tony Loughlan seen at Town’s 4-2 Championship defeat at Leicester City on Saturday.
Keane went on: “I’m enjoying my time off. I think I have to step back now and see what’s around the corner.
“If I’m out of the game for six months or six years, so be it.
“I’m sure there’s a club out there who might give me an opportunity, but if it doesn’t come, I’ve got a good life.
“I’ve got a bit of freedom at the moment and I’m enjoying that.
“If I was to go back into it, as usual I’ll want to get to the very top and hopefully I’ll learn from my mistakes, particularly at Ipswich.
“I think I could potentially be a good manager but potential is one thing, going out and doing it is another thing.”
Clegg is a former chief executive of the British Olympic Association and had no experience of football administration when brought in by Town owner Marcus Evans at the time Keane was appointed.
Keane was talking in an hour-long telephone interview to a religious-based local Irish radio station Cork Life FM, where a friend from the footballer’s younger days is employed.