Football

Niall Quinn Details Roy Keane's 'Phenomenal Impact' On Sunderland

Niall Quinn Details Roy Keane's 'Phenomenal Impact' On Sunderland

Revisiting a time where they worked together for the betterment of Sunderland, Niall Quinn remains impressed at the impact Roy Keane had on a 'broken' club not long relegated from the Premier League.

On opposing sides of the Saipan debacle, many were surprised when the newly-retired Keane decided to begin his managerial career with a club owned by Quinn and a coterie of Irish businessmen.

Yet, as the former Irish forward revealed in an interview with The Times, any lingerings doubts about Keane's ability to succeed in the role were quickly put to bed.

Having been touted as a potential replacement for Alex Ferguson at Manchester United during his playing days, Keane's spell at Sunderland began with the kind of bang that left such a prophesy looking all the more plausible.

Working now as Martin O'Neill's assistant with the Republic of Ireland, such a scenario may never well play out. However, from Quinn's retelling of events over a decade ago, Keane was far more equipped to deal with the multi-faceted role of football management than some would be inclined to believe.

“When he first came to Sunderland, we were still trying to sell 27 executive boxes.

"We organised a function for north-east business people. Roy walked into the room and it fell silent. He worked that room and didn’t hold back.

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"We sold out in an hour and a half. He got in his car, went home. I could tell 100 stories like that.

"The guy has a phenomenal power.”

Taking over a club that had been relegated from the Premier League with 15 points, and went on to lose their opening four games of the new Championship season, Keane led Sunderland back to the Premier League in some style.

Finishing ahead of 2nd placed Birmingham City with 88 points, their first season back in the Premier League saw Sunderland finish a fairly respectable 15th.

Outlining Keane's long term vision for the club, Quinn recalls a particularly exciting (and somewhat terrifying exchange.

“I remember saying to Roy once, ‘hey, we’ve got to be a bit more certain about the players we buy’ and Roy went ‘back me and eventually we’ll have 11 like me."

Although such a vision would ultimately not come to fruition for Quinn, Keane or Sunderland, the former owner certainly appears to believe that Keane's spell in football management may be due a re-up.

See Also: The Irish Team Martin O'Neill Should Pick To Avenge Danish Defeat

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