Manchester United legend Roy Keane was "calmer" in his banned MUTV interview than he was in the dressing room, according to a former team-mate.
Keane exited Old Trafford in November 2005 after tearing into the United team who had lost 4-1 away at Middlesbrough. Having been injured at the time and missed the game, the club's in-house TV channel wanted to get his thoughts.
They got more than they bargained for, with Sir Alex Ferguson canning the segment so it was never aired. It was the beginning of the end for Keane, and his relationship with Fergie remains strained to this day.
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The Sky Sports pundit reckons his boss wanted him gone and used the interview as an excuse – and ex-United midfielder Alan Smith felt there wasn't anything wrong with it.
He told FourFourTwo: "If you're captain of a football club, you're entitled to say what you want. Roy never said anything that he wouldn't have said to us.
"He was probably calmer in that video than he was in the dressing room. I had a great relationship with Roy. I read his book, enjoyed it and appreciated what he said about me."
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Smith was one of the many players singled out by Keane during his rant. On him, he said: "What is he doing there? He is wandering around as if he is lost. He doesn't know what he is doing.
"When they [the young players] sign the contracts, they think they have made it. They owe it to the manager, the staff and the fans. They think they have made it. They haven't."
As Smith said, the criticism didn't impact on his feelings towards Keane. He revealed earlier this month that they used to drink tea and chat about footy together.
"Me and Roy had such a great relationship, to be honest," Smith told the Manchester Evening News. "I’ve been a football geek my whole life and we'd talk about that, but people don’t see that side of me because they think I’ve got a reputation, but I’m the opposite.
"I loved football from when I first started playing and for me and Roy, it was interesting because we’d go out and we would drink pots of tea and just chat about football. He’d tell me about all of his experiences previously."
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