Former Ireland and Sunderland striker Stephen Elliott has outlined that former manager Roy Keane would not let his players celebrate after the Black Cats achieved promotion to the Premier League.
Keane appeared on Sky Sports on Sunday during the final games of the Premier League season and was far from pleased with Aston Villa’s celebrations despite the club avoiding relegation.
“The celebrations are slightly over the top,” remarked Keane, “But good luck to them.”
🗣 "Celebrations a bit over the top"
Roy Keane's reaction to Aston Villa celebrating surviving relegation pic.twitter.com/4uf0FRiYhm
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 26, 2020
It turns out it wasn’t the first time the former Manchester United captain has been non-plussed over a team’s achievement as Stephen Elliott explained.
The former Irish striker was part of the Sunderland squad who reached the Premier League in May 2007 however Keane felt it was nothing to celebrate.
“I had that with Roy when he managed us at Sunderland,” Elliott told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On.
“We got promoted to the Premier League, and in the Championship we had won the league and he wouldn’t let us have a celebratory party after the game.
“He wouldn’t let us celebrate with the fans because his mindset was, ‘Why are you celebrating? A team like Sunderland should be in the Premier League anyway’.
“But that was him coming from somewhere where he had won the Premier League seven or eight times.
“Some lads in that squad had never won a trophy before and they wanted to celebrate with the families and the fans.
“But in Roy’s mind, it was ‘we shouldn’t be celebrating, we should be there anyway’ and I think that’s just Roy’s mindset and that’s maybe why he was such a top, top player and a big leader.”
Elliot also explained how some of the players reacted to Keane’s decision to not have any form of promotion party, in particular veteran goalkeeper Darren Ward.
“When I was there, I wasn’t overly bothered because we had just [achieved promotion] a couple of seasons beforehand, so it’s a little bit fresh in your mind,” he said.
“But there were some lads there, I remember the goalkeeper we had, Darren Ward, who was mid-30s at this stage.
“And he’d played a full season really well for us in goal. I remember him saying to me after it was decided that we weren’t going to have any kind of celebration party, he was absolutely devastated because he had a couple of young boys and they had never celebrated anything with him on the pitch.
“He was looking forward to doing the whole open-top bus and celebrating with the fans and obviously Roy had taken that away from him.
“You can understand Roy’s view. Sunderland’s a big club and that they should have been in the Premier League. But you’ve got to look at each individual situation and try and make the best of everybody.”