Former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse has outlined that he loved working under Roy Keane during his loan spell at Sunderland.
Cisse joined the Black Cats on loan from Marseille in the 2008/2009 season netting ten goals in 35 league games as Sunderland struggled, finishing 16th.
Keane, who was manager at the time, would not last the season, stepping away in December following a run of five defeats on the spin, meaning he and Cisse only worked together for a few months.
Despite the turbulent campaign, the former French international outlined that he loved working under Keane and that he feels the Irishman got the best out of him.
“Oh, I love the guy!,” Cisse told FourFourTwo.
“Marseille had spent some money on new players by then, so when my agent contacted me and said Roy Keane would like me to join Sunderland on loan, I considered it. I wasn’t getting enough match time at Marseille, so I thought, ‘Why not?’
“Roy was brilliant. I was never nervous around him. We have a lot in common and both take football very seriously – I never forgot how important any club was. Roy was always very straight with me and got the best out of me.
Cisse, like many players who played under and alongside Keane, also has an infamous dressing down story, however he outlined that the grilling he received from his manager on this particular instance, helped his performance on the pitch.
“I remember one game: at half-time, we came in and I hadn’t played great; not that bad, but I hadn’t been myself. Roy walked in and went for me. Oh my god, he was screaming at me – really crazy, really loud. It took me back 15 years, when Guy Roux used to shout at me as a kid [at Auxerre].
“I realised what Roy was doing. Like Guy, he was trying to get me going. So, I lifted my head up and smiled. I smiled, knowing what he was doing. Well, Roy just got even angrier. ‘What the f**k are you smiling for?!’ he shouted.
“Anyway, after 10 minutes I scored and sprinted over to him on the touchline. ‘Well done, boss,’ I said. ‘I know exactly what you were doing!’ He looked at me like I was mad. But I did love the guy.”
Cisse would go on to join Greek side Panathinaikos after his loan move to Sunderland and would return to play in the Premier League a few years later with QPR.