Keane: I was hard on Veron
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Roy Keane regrets how he treated ex-Man United team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron.
Roy Keane admits he regrets how he treated former Manchester United team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron.
Argentine midfielder Veron arrived at Old Trafford from Lazio in 2001 amid great fanfare and was expected to form an effective partnership with Keane.
But Veron only showed fleeting glimpses of his talent during two years with United before being sold on to Chelsea.
Looking back, Keane accepts he did not fully appreciate the difficulty for some foreign players to adjust to living in another country.
He cites his own experience of playing for Celtic last season, when he lived in an Edinburgh hotel, as an example of the problems which encounter some players.
"Celtic couldn't have done enough for me, but it was a lonely life and I wish now I had been a bit easier on some of the foreign lads who came to United," Keane told The Sunday Times magazine.
"I always thought, 'You're on the pitch now - do it'. I regret that now.
"I was very hard on Seba and I was wrong. When he came, I was expecting miracles.
"When they didn't happen, I was always homing in on him and I now know it takes time."
Keane, who recently took on his first managerial role at Sunderland, also alluded to a respect for Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
The Irishman added: "Mourinho's got something. A blind man could see that. And he has the edge at the moment.
"He plays games and I think they can have a big effect on his team and on the opposition.
"Do you remember when Chelsea played United at Stamford Bridge, end of last season, and there's two minutes to go in injury time and he gets up, walks up to where the United lads are, and he's shaking Alex Ferguson's hand and the game is still going on?
"Two years ago no one would've done that to Alex Ferguson.
"The manager would not have liked it. But Mourinho is saying, 'The game is over, the league is over, 3-0 to us'.
"But Alex Ferguson would have taken that on board. That's what good managers thrive on, that kind of slight.
"People love to criticise Mourinho, but I like watching Chelsea. They're well organised, they know their jobs."