Ryan Tunnicliffe wants to emulate his idol Roy Keane
- Credit: Archant
No-one told new boy Ryan Tunnicliffe that the name Roy Keane is generally whispered quietly around Ipswich Town.
The latter fell out spectacularly with current Blues boss Mick McCarthy at the 2002 World Cup, while his own time in the Portman Road hotseat will not be remembered fondly in Suffolk.
Manchester United loanee Tunnicliffe grew up idolising the iconic Irishman at Old Trafford though and says he will look to bring a similar bite to Town’s midfield.
The 20-year-old – who could go straight into the side for this afternoon’s season-opener at Reading – said: “I’ve taken squad number 16 because Roy Keane was my idol growing up. He was a hard-tackling midfielder which is what I like to be.
“When I was a bit younger he was doing his coaching badges and I had one session with him. I’m a Manchester United fan, I had a season ticket and I used to watch him thinking ‘I want to play like that’.
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“He was a winner, he was 110% in everything he did, not just in games on a Saturday but in training as well. That was his character and I picked up on a lot of that.
“Sometimes you might not be the best footballer in the world, but if you want to win – and want to win badly – that beats someone who is more talented, but doesn’t have that same desire.”
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He continued: “It’s about doing your job and playing to your strengths. Roy wasn’t the most technically gifted player at United, but his strengths were passing it simple, running about and being box-to-box. He was the captain for many years and had just as big an influence as Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes.
“I won’t sit here and say I’m the most technically gifted, but I’ll influence the game in whatever way I can. If that means running 50 yards and tackling someone then passing it to a team mate to score then I’m happy to do so.”
When asked if he hoped Tunnicliffe could go some way to emulating Keane’s career, McCarthy quipped: “What, on the pitch or off it?! I don’t care what number he wears to be honest, he’s just a good player.”
– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.