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09th Feb 2016

Jason McAteer reveals how there’s still no love lost between him and Roy Keane

Tony Cuddihy

The hatchet has not been buried.

Jason McAteer says that he and Roy Keane never buried the hatchet after their infamous bust-up during a match between Sunderland and Manchester United in 2002.

Speaking to Ray D’Arcy on RTÉ Radio 1 earlier, McAteer described how it’s ‘still bayonets at thirty paces’ between him and the Ireland assistant manager, almost 14 years after Keane left his country’s World Cup camp in Saipan.

“It’s an unfortunate little spell that is still probably running it’s course. I’m still not getting a Christmas card off Roy; he’s still not ringing me up.

“It all comes off the back of the 2002 World Cup, where he decided to go home – it was very disappointing.”

McAteer reckons that Keane’s disappointment with his fellow Ireland players for not backing him up in Saipan led to the pair’s clash at the Stadium of Light the following season, while the former Liverpool wing-back gave as good as he got.

Keane had just released his first autobiography – in which he criticised McAteer among other former Ireland stars – and the Scouser believes that was the reason behind the flare-up.

“We understood where he came from, what he stood for and what he wanted – we all just felt it was at the wrong time. There was a time and a place for it and it was after the World Cup.

“Obviously the disappointment and the anger spilled over into the Premier League season. He had been a little unsavoury towards the lads, me included, in his book.

“When we had words on the pitch, I just said to him ‘put it in your next book, I’ll read about it I’m sure.’

“That’s all that was, but unfortunately, we never kissed and made up – we’re still bayonets at thirty paces.”