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‘He would not accept mediocrity’ – former Man United coach explains what set Roy Keane apart from the rest

Man United Roy Keane

Former Man United sports psychologist Bill Beswick explains how Roy Keane set himself above the rest.

Former Man United sports psychologist Bill Beswick has explained the key factor that saw Roy Keane set himself above the rest while at Old Trafford.

Beswick worked with United and Keane during a two-year stint at the club, and he revealed an insight into how Keane drove standards up at the club.

When speaking on the Freedom Pact podcast, Beswick explained that Keane was ‘the ultimate truth-teller’ while at United.

Keane was the ‘ultimate truth-teller’.

“He challenged everybody, he was brilliant,” Beswick told the Freedom Pact podcast. “He made everybody around him 10 per cent better because he would not accept mediocrity.

“He would tell everyone the truth – I called him the ultimate truth-teller. If you played poorly, he would tell you. If you weren’t making an effort, he would tell you. As a result, you began to play for Roy and play to his standards.

“I was at Manchester United for two years, and sometimes I saw the impact on the players around him. Sometimes, with the best will in the world, when the sky is black and cold [then] you don’t really feel like putting the effort in.

“But Roy would go out there and his standard would be 100%, no excuses.”

Roy Keane dealing with pressure at Man United.

During his trophy-laden stint at Old Trafford, Keane, and his teammates exuded an aura of class when called upon. Beswick explained how Keane and his teammates did that, as he ignored most, if not all of the noise surrounding him at the club.

“One of the greatest pressures that causes people to lose their way is the expectations of others. They end up playing for their parents, the crowd or the media.

“The only time they [the likes of Roy Keane] were upset was when they lowered their own standards, and didn’t meet their own expectations.

“That made [Keane] fireproof. The media could say what they liked; the fans could do what they liked. ‘Did I do everything I could to make that a great performance?’ That is a very, very tough quality.”

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