Keane calls for more graft

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The Independent Online

Manchester United star Roy Keane has admitted the former European champions must stop giving away the kind of sloppy goals that saw them crash 3-1 to PSV Eindhoven.

Manchester United star Roy Keane has admitted the former European champions must stop giving away the kind of sloppy goals that saw them crash 3-1 to PSV Eindhoven.

He admits concern that the Red Devil's once sturdy defence is being opened all too easily by opposition attacks.

They have let in six goals in their last two games - havihg conceded just five in their first eight games on the season.

PSV were the latest side to capitalise on their new-found generosity and Raimond van der Gouw was beaten three times as United sank to their heaviest Champions League defeat in nearly six years.

Sir Alex Ferguson claimed his young backline were guilty of "naive defending", but Keane felt the whole team were culpable.

He feels it is time United added some more graft to their craft.

He said: "We're just giving bad goals away and that's not criticising the defence.

"It's the whole 11 who have to defend better as a unit.

"We've had success based on a great work ethic, but it doesn't seem to be there at the moment in the last game-and-a-half.

"We had a lot of possession against PSV, but a bit of naivety has cost us and we were caught on the break.

"We keep saying we've got to learn from games like this, but we've been saying that for a long time now.

"We set high standards and we've not reached them in the last game-and-a-half.

"We've got a good bunch of lads here and we need to get our fingers out."

Keane refused to hide behind the fact that Ferguson fielded a weakened side for the Group G game.

David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Ronny Johnsen, Denis Irwin, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham were all missing from the starting line-up against PSV as Ferguson wanted to keep them fresh for Sunday's showdown with Arsenal.

But Keane said: "The changes didn't affect us. We're all aware that with the demands of the season the manager is going to make changes and you have to accept that.

"There's no way we can use that as an excuse. The players who came in are good players.

"Hindsight is a great thing, but we've used the squad rotation system in the last three years and it's not been a problem.

"We're all disappointed and it was the same after the Chelsea game when they came back to draw 3-3.

"We're professionals. We set ourselves high standards and we're not reaching them at the moment."

Worringly for United they have won only one of their last six Champions League games, which isn't exactly the form that will see them crowned kings of Europe this season.

They have slipped to third in the group, although Ferguson remains confident they can win their two home games and collect the 10 points he feels will ensure qualification for the second phase.

Keane will leave the brinkmanship to his manager and all he is concerned about is getting back on track after this blip.

The Reds skipper said: "We've got PSV at home next and obviously we will be looking to dominate at Old Trafford.

"They've showed they have fighting spirit and you have to give them credit for how they played against us.

"Hopefully it will be a different game at Old Trafford and we're not going to get too heavy about this disappointment.

"We've two home games now and it's all to play for."

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