Keane makes light of Yorke's 'devastation' at leaving Sydney

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The Independent Football

The new Sunderland manager, Roy Keane, insists that there will be no concerns over Dwight Yorke after the new signing was quoted as being "devastated" to be leaving Sydney.

Keane signed the Trinidad & Tobago international shortly after being installed as the new manager of the Black Cats last week in the wake of the chairman Niall Quinn's disastrous stint at the helm which resulted in the first five matches ending in defeat. Keane and Yorke were team-mates at Manchester United before Yorke moved to Blackburn in 2002. The 34-year-old striker spent two seasons at Ewood Park before an unsuccessful campaign at Birmingham City prompted his departure from Britain and a move to Sydney FC where he converted to playing in midfield.

The switch proved successful and Yorke was prominent as he guided the team to the inaugural A-League title.

However, Sydney's failure to offer Yorke a new deal and the subsequent decision to accept a £200,000 offer from Sunderland prompted him to say: "I'm absolutely gutted to say the least, I'm devastated, just devastated."

Keane insists that the remarks were misconstrued and is thrilled to have been reunited with his former team-mate. Keane said: "The quotes were taken out of context. From the time I spoke to Dwight everything has been positive. It's the way they want to spin things. I'm sure he was very happy in Sydney, he enjoyed it, of course he did, but he wanted to come back here for a new challenge and it's [a] credit to Sunderland that we have signed him. I know for a fact that he has had one or two offers over the summer, it's great that he is here."

Keane made six signings on a busy transfer deadline day, spending £3.7m as the Black Cats look to make steady progress up the Coca-Cola Championship. As well as Yorke, the Wigan pair of David Connolly and Graham Kavanagh and the Celtic duo of Stanislav Varga and Ross Wallace moved to the Stadium of Light while Liam Miller arrived from Old Trafford.

The new manager is confident that the likes of Yorke can have a positive influence both on and off the field with the team lying second from bottom of the Championship table.

Keane said: "Dwight's a character, let me tell you, and that is what you need. It's not just about what players bring to the pitch and the training pitch. It's about the dressing-room as well. It's not just that Dwight Yorke will help - the others [new signings] will, too.

"You've got to have a good dressing-room - a bubbly, happy dressing-room. Results have not been great and hopefully one or two of the new lads will lift the other players.

"I know from my experience as a player that when one or two new players arrive, especially characters like Dwight Yorke, it only benefits everyone."

Yorke will not feature in Sunderland's upcoming game against Derby at Pride Park on Saturday, although Keane is expecting him to arrive in Britain by the weekend.