‘It wasn’t fine... it grinds you down’ - former Town defender Delaney on ex-boss Keane

Former Ipswich Town defender Damien Delaney has discussed life at Portman Road under Roy Keane. Pict

Former Ipswich Town defender Damien Delaney has discussed life at Portman Road under Roy Keane. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Former Ipswich Town defender Damien Delaney has reflected on his difficult time working under former Blues boss Roy Keane.

Keane signed Delaney from QPR in the summer of 2009 and, writing in his second book, admitted he had maybe been a little tough on his fellow Irishman.

“Damien Delaney came in and did OK,” Keane wrote. “I was a bit hard on him sometimes, probably because I knew him and he was from Cork. But I went over the top.”

Now, speaking with Off The Ball, Delaney has admitted he found life under Keane hard during their time together in Suffolk.

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“It is as probably close to an apology that you get from him! he probably wouldn’t say sorry for anything - but it’s fine, man,” said Delaney, referring to Keane’s comments in his book.

“He did what he thought was correct at the time and he managed the way that he thought was correct, and I was on the end of a lot of it... an awful lot of it, if I’m honest with you.

“It wasn’t fine at the time, as it grinds you down. I have laughed when people said this before - but if Roy Keane has said he was too hard on you, can you imagine what I had to go through?

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“It was tough enough and he did used to favour coming for me. But again, you try and take it on the chin and focus on the game.”

The saving grace, though, is that Keane continued to pick Delaney for much of their time together: “The only thing that kept me going was that he picked me,” the former defender said,

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“If a manager is having a go at you and you’re not in the team, or even worse he is not talking to you and not picking you, then he doesn’t think very much of you.

“But I think I played nigh-on every game for him, bar a game or two here and there when I was banished for a mistake. But nigh-on every game.

“That is the only thing that consoled me: he can’t think I’m that bad because he’s picking me. So he would destroy me after a game, not speak to me for a week, and then named the team on the Saturday and I’d be in it!”

Delaney retired last year at the age of 38 following his spell with Waterford in his homeland.