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Roy Keane launches attack on Manchester United team, urging Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand to 'step up to the plate' for David Moyes

Keane says that former Everton manager needs time and money in the summer

The former Manchester United captain Roy Keane is the latest ex-player to criticise the struggling club this season, claiming that veteran players such as Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have to "step up the the plate" for beleaguered manager David Moyes.

It has been a season of woe for Sir Alex Ferguson's successor Moyes, with the club languishing in seventh place with 26 points fewer than they had at this stage last season and no chance of retaining their Premier League title. The were also knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round, out of the League Cup in the semi-final and will face the German champions Bayern Munich in the next round of the Champions League next week.

Speaking to students at the University College Cork, Keane, now assistant manager to Martin O'Neill at Republic of Ireland, insisted that Moyes must be given time and money to rebuild the squad and maintains that there is a lot of work to be done over the summer.

"I don’t know where you start," Keane said. "They need a number of players. Defensively, there are players leaving and I don’t think it helps Nemanja Vidic is going, people are talking about Patrice Evra and obviously Rio and Giggsy are coming to an end.

"They are lacking a few leaders at the moment and I don’t think they have that type of player in the group. But I think United will be all right and David Moyes will get plenty of time. The man deserves it. He’s got vast experience, but his staff – Steve Round and Phil Neville – and a couple of senior players, Rio and Giggsy, they have to step up to the plate. One or two of the new players are getting criticism, but it’s up to the players who have been there a few years who know what United are about.

"We [Keane’s team] had tough days. We ground out results, we survived a few times, we got lucky breaks. When we won the league [in 1996], at Newcastle we could have been five nil down at half-time, yet we ended up winning with Eric Cantona nicking a goal. You need defining moments, but this team will not find it because they don’t have it in the group."


Former players Gary Neville and Paul Scholes had also issued strong words for United's players while on punditry duty during United's 3-0 defeat by City on Wednesday.

"It looks to me like there's a few areas that need addressing," Scholes said. "You could say that they've been looking for a central midfielder for quite a few years now, and maybe haven't quite come up with the answer.

"But it's defensively as well. [Nemanja] Vidic is going, it looks like Rio [Ferdinand] and maybe [Patrice] Evra are going as well so that's three of your back four. That's another area he's got to look after."

Neville added: "The defence does not push up the pitch, they're not front-foot defensively, while in midfield you need pressure and drive and they haven't got that.

"They are not risk-takers in midfield so the passing is slow at times. Ryan Giggs is the first midfielder, in the Olympiakos game last week, that I've seen pass the ball forwards.

"Up front I think they've got good players, but it's where you fit them in and how you position them together. Moyes has got some work to do in working that out over the next few months."