Keane to keep his feet on the ground

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The Independent Online

Roy Keane is refusing to be carried away by claims that he can do for Sunderland what Kevin Keegan did for Newcastle United.

The 35-year-old tasted victory at Derby County in his first game as Black Cats manager on Saturday.

The former Magpies defender Robbie Elliott, who was part of the Keegan revolution at St James' Park during the 1990s, later predicted that the Irishman could have just as big an impact at the Stadium of Light.

However, Keane was quick to play down Elliott's suggestion as he prepared his side for their Championship trip to Leeds tonight.

He said: "That was one of the players talking. I'll need to call him in this morning. Listen, this is really positive and there's great energy around the club at the moment. We need to plug into that and enjoy it.

"In football, just when you think everything is on a high, you get beaten or you get a bad result and everyone is down in the dumps. I've got to get a balanced outlook on everything and make sure people aren't getting too carried away. But again, you enjoy the good results because in football there are going to be bad ones.

"I wouldn't want to put a dampener on people. They need to enjoy it. In my job, I need to be looking at the bigger picture and always looking to improve things."

Keane admitted his first week in the job had been hectic but Saturday's result served to increase his enjoyment of his role.

He said: "It's amazing, when you win a game of football, it gives everyone a great feeling. But like I said last week, Rome wasn't built in a day. There's a lot of hard work ahead. We won at the weekend and now that's it. You move on from it and now we go to Leeds."

Elland Road could give Keane a hostile welcome because of his Manchester United roots, but that is not something which will concern him unduly.

"I'm sure they're going to give me a nice round of applause. When you go to Leeds, it's always hostile, that never fazed me," he said. "As a player, it was something I enjoyed and hopefully the players will enjoy it."

Keane's squad has been boosted by the arrival of former United team-mate Dwight Yorke, although the Trinidad and Tobago star will not be involved at Leeds as he works his way towards full match fitness.

However, Keane was dealt a blow on Sunday night when Brian Kidd, who he had approached with an offer of a job on the coaching staff, chose to join Sheffield United.

Keane said: "I left it with him and he has obviously sought another challenge. Sheffield United are in the Premier League and it's a lot nearer to his house. I'm sure a lot of that came into his decision making."

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