Kinnear tips Keane for Old Trafford role

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The Independent Online

Joe Kinnear will look to get one over on a man he believes is a Manchester United boss in waiting when he sends his Newcastle side into derby battle with Sunderland.

The 61-year-old knows Roy Keane well from his time as a television pundit in Ireland, and has been hugely impressed with the way he has set about the task of establishing himself in management.

He said: "I know Roy very well. I had a contract with RTE for 10 years, and Roy used to come on the show. We have done internationals together in the studio.

"I think he is a Manchester United manager in the making, to be honest. He has done a great job."

The two men are at very different stages in their managerial careers, with Kinnear attempting to prove he still has what it takes to do the job at the highest level after recovering from his health problems, while the younger man is in just his third season as a boss.

Tomorrow's game will give the former Wimbledon manager his first taste of a north-east derby after he was parachuted into the club by owner Mike Ashley with Newcastle's season spiralling worryingly out of control on the pitch as well as off it.

Kinnear, who has revealed his stay will be extended by at least a month beyond the confines of his initial contract, has sparked something of a revival at St James' Park having guided his side to hard-fought 2-2 draws against Everton and Manchester City.

The Magpies trailed 2-0 at Goodison Park before launching a fightback, and survived Habib Beye's 12th-minute dismissal on Monday evening to come within four minutes of clinching a first Premier League victory since August 23 before City's Stephen Ireland snatched a late equaliser.

Beye's red card, awarded for a trip on Robinho which also resulted in the penalty from which the Brazilian gave his side the lead, was yesterday rescinded by a Football Association regulatory commission despite referee Rob Styles standing by his decision.

That left Kinnear with mixed emotions, relief at Beye's availability for the derby, but disappointment that his side had been been forced to play for 78 minutes with 10 men after being punished from the penalty spot.

Keane too had cause to bemoan his side's luck last weekend when referee Keith Stroud disallowed Kieran Richardson's free-kick at Fulham, denying the Black Cats an away win.

The Irishman wasted no time in reminding the official for tomorrow's game, Mike Riley, of the club's recent catalogue of misfortune.

He said: "We have had it a few times now. We had it last year - Aston Villa at home, Danny Collins scored, Chopra scored a good goal at Derby that was wiped out by a linesman.

"We had a penalty given against us at Blackburn, and the same referee didn't give us one against Liverpool. Do you want me to carry on?

"The decision last week - anyone who knows the game, the goal should have stood.

"We hope we are talking about the players after the game and not the officials.

"But sometimes, officials seem to enjoy being spoken about."

Kinnear, however, smiled when asked if he feared Riley, who was the man in charge of that Sunderland v Derby game, would take note of Keane's comments.

He said: "No, I don't think he will have any of that.

"I am just hoping we can forget about penalties. we have had five penalties given against us in our eight Premier League games so far this season.

"It's amazing, really - some teams don't get five penalties given against them in a whole season.

"We have just had one rescinded, so we wouldn't want any more."

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