Former Manchester United captain, Roy Keane has admitted having â€œhuge respect for Liverpool after the backlash to his withering assessment of their current team last week.
While acting in his role as a pundit for ITVâ€™s Champions League coverage following the clubâ€™s 3-0 win against Maribor, the controversial Ireland assistant boss had stated that â€œif they were playing in my back garden, I wouldnâ€™t watch them. Itâ€™s a pretty big (garden), but letâ€™s be honest they are going nowhere.â€
â€œItâ€™s hard to figure out Liverpool at the moment, itâ€™s hard to get excited about them. For me they are going nowhere fast and come the end of the season when the prizes are being handed out, Liverpool will be nowhere near.â€
Needless to say, the reaction to those comments from Liverpool fans was overwhelmingly negative and Keane made an effort to put the record straight at yesterdayâ€™s post training press conference in advance of Irelandâ€™s World Cup play off v Denmark this weekend.
â€œIt was a bit of tongue in cheek and I hope people would see it that wayâ€ stated Keane when asked about it.
â€œI think anyone whoâ€™s ever spoken to me about football will know the huge respect I have for Liverpool. I grew up watching them in the 80â€™s winning leagues every year. Iâ€™m not here to defend every comment Iâ€™ve made in the last few years or months but people should lighten up a little.”
Given Keaneâ€™s glittering career with Liverpoolâ€™s cross pennine rivals, it remains to be seen how well his apology will go down on Merseyside.