Former Bohemians goalkeeper, Brian Murphy, spoke of the “incredible” experience of working under Roy Keane at Ipswich while also giving fans an insight into the Irish legend’s managerial style.
Speaking at the Gaultier GAA ‘Resilience Forum’, Murphy opened up on how the Manchester United legend talked him into going back across the water after returning to Ireland from Swansea in 2006.
Murphy recalled how he couldn’t say no to the former Irish captain before revealing that he has “a lot of time for the man”.
“Ipswich came in with Roy Keane and I was thinking with my family, ‘how do you say no to Roy, like’? I might never get this opportunity again,” said Murphy.
“People have an opinion of Roy, I have a lot of time for the man. From the chats you have with him as a player or a coach, he ultimately persuaded me to go back over.”
Murphy’s tenure at Ipswich lasted just eight months and he returned to Ireland following Keane’s departure from the club. The goalkeeper insists that Keane was “incredible” to work under, however, he did admit that he felt sorry for former Irish international, Damien Delaney, who came in for harsh treatment from Keane.
“Roy is Roy, he was incredible to work under and highly opinionated. We had a couple of Irish lads in the dressing room. I used to feel for Damien Delaney at times,” said Murphy.
“He used to hate Damo for whatever reason. Damo was a bit flash, he used to wear the baseball cap on backward and the American football jersey and they are from across the river from each other in Cork.
“After a game, if Damo made a mistake, Roy would be the first one to go for him and would absolutely hammer him. He would destroy him.”
Murphy also gave some interesting insights into how Keane dealt with players in the dressing room, providing the crowd with a couple of hilarious anecdotes.
“We played Leicester away and we’d played unbelievably well in the first half. We drew the game, we were awful in the second half and were hanging on by the skin of our teeth. It was night and day between the first and second half,” said Murphy.
“We were in the dressing room and we were all sitting in one corner. Roy’s chats could go on for 45-minutes after a game.
“The drug testers were in. As anyone who has been drug tested in sport knows, once the drug-tester introduces himself to you, they have to stay with you or you have to be in their sight the whole period of time until you finish giving your sample.
“Roy is doing his team-talk and going around to a couple of lads and, rightly or wrongly, he was talking to one lad from London who was 19 and said ‘look, I don’t think you are going to make it in the game. I don’t see you being consistent enough, you will probably be back in London next year doing drive-by shootings with your friends’.
“We are all sitting there, ‘Holy God’.
“Roy went on ‘one week I look at you and you’re controlling the game, the next week I can’t find you on the pitch, but it’s OK because I don’t blame you, I blame your parents for the way they brought you up’.
“It depends how the lad takes it but everyone is different. The last lad he went to, (he said) ‘do you want to be a footballer, or do you want to collect piss for a living like that fella?’ And all you see is the drug tester in the corner and the poor fella didn’t know what was going on.
“But that was Roy, he was so honest. He would rarely scream and shout at you, he was always talking to you and that always made it a bit more personal.
“You can handle someone getting into a shouting match with you, but when it’s calculated and straight to your face, it’s much harder to take.”