Never one to hold back, physically as a player or verbally as a manager, Roy Keane nevertheless said yesterday that he spent a lot of his playing career restraining himself from charging into crowds and "doing a Cantona".
Keane was responding to the remarks of Sol Campbell and Harry Redknapp this week about rising abuse from fans at grounds, with Keane agreeing with the England centre-half.
"I wanted to do an Eric Cantona loads of times," Keane said. "I wanted to do it everywhere. It's usually built up over a few years, that's when eventually someone like Eric thinks enough is enough. In other sports hockey, American football, basketball we've seen people going into the crowd and fighting."
Elsewhere in the North-east, Nicky Butt has signed a contract extension with Newcastle United, while one of that club's former stalwarts, Gary Speed, appears to have played his last game for Bolton Wanderers. The 38 year-old Welshman is expected to join Sheffield United when January's transfer window opens. It is believed Speed has agreed an 18-month contract at Bramall Lane that would take him close to his 40th birthday.