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Sports psychologist recalls time when Roy Keane confronted Denis Irwin

Roy Keane and Denis Irwin

Not even fellow Corkman Denis Irwin was spared a Roy Keane tongue-lashing at Manchester United.

A former sports psychologist at United has recalled a training ground incident that sums up the champion’s mentality possessed by Roy Keane, who once chased Denis Irwin to give him a piece of his mind.

On his very first day as United’s sports psychologist, Bill Beswick was stood alongside Sir Alex Ferguson for a training session when Irwin failed to find Keane with a pass and the then-United captain sprinted to confront his fellow Irish international.

Roy Keane and Denis Irwin

“The first day I went to Manchester United, I was watching eight versus eight possession,” Beswick told Keep It On The Deck.

“Roy Keane – who’s a warrior, not just an athlete, not just a competitor but a warrior, the mindset of a warrior – his team have got possession.

“Denis Irwin has got the ball. He’s looking up, he’s trapped, he’s going to lose the ball.

Roy Keane and Denis Irwin

“Roy Keane makes a beautiful run and signals ‘Denis!’ where he wants the ball. Denis doesn’t see him, doesn’t hear him, doesn’t respond and loses the ball.

“Roy Keane ran 40 yards to challenge his teammate: ‘Get your head up!’ I was shocked.”

While Beswick might have been surprised by the incident, the legendary Red Devils manager stood beside him was anything but.

Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson

Ferguson pointed to the intensity of Keane and his pursuit of perfection on the training ground as the reason for United’s consistent success in the Premier League at that time.

“I was stood next to Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United,” Beswick added.

“He said ‘Now you know why we win on a Saturday. We win on a Saturday because we have this mindset to train every day.'”

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