Yorke ready to help Keane perfect Sunderland start

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Dwight Yorke will expect no favours from his former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane on his return to the English game.

The 34-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international is in line for his Sunderland debut in Keane's first game at the Stadium of Light against Leicester today - but discounts any notion of an old pals act as Keane tries to maintain the perfect start to his managerial career.

"I am hoping it is not the case that the reason I am here is because I am his friend," Yorke said. "I would like to think he sees me as a good footballer and I can bring something to Sunderland in terms of trying to get promotion.

"If I thought for a moment I was just his mate and I am going to be in the team because of that, I would not be here. I am not like that. I would like to think I am here for football purposes."

Despite reports to the contrary from Australia, where Yorke left Sydney FC, he had little hesitation in taking up the Irishman's offer. He said: "When I got permission to speak to Roy, once I spoke to him on the phone, that was it. He knew exactly what I thought. There is no doubt I wanted to be at this club.

"This club is massive in terms of a football perspective. There is no comparison between Sunderland and Sydney FC. Sunderland, as far as I am concerned, is a massive club, Roy Keane as the manager played a major role in bringing me back here and, from a footballing perspective, this is the best thing that could happen to me.

"There are not too many people like Roy Keane around who have achieved what he has achieved in the game, so I am very happy and delighted that he wants me to come and play a major role at Sunderland."

The contrast between Keane's intense image and Yorke's laid-back style on the pitch could hardly be more stark, but the striker said: "It may be a good combination - you never know. Roy knows exactly what kind of person I am. He knows from a football perspective, I am a good footballer, that I can bring something to the table. If he did not think I could, I would not be here.

"Of course, we are different personalities - I would not want it any other way.

"Roy is what he is - what you see is what you get; I am a little bit different having been brought up in the Caribbean. But it does not mean we do not get on really well."