Former Manchester United captain, Roy Keane has admitted having “huge respect for Liverpool” after the backlash to his withering assessment of their current team last week.
While acting in his role as a pundit for ITV’s Champions League coverage following the club’s 3-0 win against Maribor, the controversial Ireland assistant boss had stated that “if they were playing in my back garden, I wouldn’t watch them. It’s a pretty big (garden), but let’s be honest they are going nowhere.”
“It’s hard to figure out Liverpool at the moment, it’s hard to get excited about them. For me they are going nowhere fast and come the end of the season when the prizes are being handed out, Liverpool will be nowhere near.”
Needless to say, the reaction to those comments from Liverpool fans was overwhelmingly negative and Keane made an effort to put the record straight at Tuesday's post-training press conference in advance of Ireland’s World Cup play-off v. Denmark this weekend.
“It was a bit of tongue in cheek and I hope people would see it that way” stated Keane when asked about it. “I think anyone who’s ever spoken to me about football will know the huge respect I have for Liverpool. I grew up watching them in the 80’s winning leagues every year. I’m not here to defend every comment I’ve made in the last few years or months but people should lighten up a little".