The timing could not have been worse. Four days before his long-anticipated return to Manchester United, Roy Keane suffered his worst night as the manager of Sunderland.
The Black Cats lost 3-0 away to League One side Luton and thus exited the League Cup at the second round stage, and Keane admitted this defeat hurt him.
"This is my biggest disappointment since I arrived here," said the Irishman, who has been in charge at Sunderland exactly one year, but won't be celebrating this particular first anniversary.
Keane took Sunderland to Premier League promotion in May and added: "Last year I was the best thing since sliced bread but I've only been a manager two minutes. It's how you respond to these things and I take full responsibility for this defeat."
The Irishman claimed he had not thought about his return to Manchester United, where he spent 12 successful years before leaving after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005.
He would have loved to take his Sunderland side there in good form, but instead they have now only won once this term.
More worryingly, he pointed out: "We didn't do the basics right. But I pick the team and have to take responsibility for how they play. It's not a night to point fingers. We will have a look at this again."Reuse content