O’Neill wants Keane and Ferguson to bury the hatchet

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill wants his assistant Roy Keane and former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to shake hands and end their feud, ESPN has reported.

Keane, who is also assistant manager to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa, and Ferguson have taken turns to criticise the other in their respective autobiographies after a tumultuous but successful spell together at Old Trafford. O’Neill has argued that they were each crucial to United’s trophy-laden era and says that while he can’t tell either man what to do, it would be fitting if they could acknowledge their respective contributions.

“Manchester United have been incredibly successful and these men were two fundamental factors in this,” O’Neill said. “The manager’s obviously very important, having been able to oversee success for such a considerable amount of time. To stay at any football club for such a length of time is incredible. To stay at a club like Manchester United that was demanding, then sustaining such success is even more so.

“Roy Keane was a vital cog in that. If you were to ask Sir Alex Ferguson, I’d bet one of the top three or four signings he made would be Roy Keane. And he signed some very fine players. That’s how important Roy was to him,” O’Neill added. “The two of them were brilliant for each other over a number of years and I think that’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten over time.

“People can have their arguments and who am I to step into anyone else’s argument, who am I to intervene? I’m not [doing] that, but what I maintain is that the two of them were magnificent for each other and from an outsider’s viewpoint it’d be nice, if at some stage or another, they recognise that publicly. I know that deep down they know they were superb for each other.”

Keane won seven Premier League titles under Ferguson, as well as four FA Cups and the Champions League, in 1999. Ferguson won a total of 13 titles, five FA Cups and a second Champions League, among a haul of other domestic and European trophies.

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