Cascarino hits back at Keane

ROY Keane's former Republic of Ireland team mate Tony Cascarino believes Ipswich Town's new boss will take them to the Premier League - despite Keane's scathing attack on him following his appointment.

ROY Keane's former Republic of Ireland team mate Tony Cascarino believes Ipswich Town's new boss will take them to the Premier League - despite Keane's scathing attack on him following his appointment.

Cascarino criticised Keane's exit from Sunderland last year and the new Ipswich manager was quick to dismiss his former team mate's opinions at his Portman Road press conference on Thursday.

“There has been lots of things said about me over the years,” said Keane. “I am happy to comment on people's opinion in football I respect, but Tony Cascarino is a man I certainly do not respect, for a lot of reasons, and if I told you, you would be shocked. So the day I worry about Tony Cascarino will be a very sad day of my life.”

“Why? It is a very long story. If you ask me about what ex-team-mates have said and tell me one, I will tell you I respect some of them, respect a lot of them. Just not the one you mention.”

Cascarino - a pundit for footballpools.com - hit back yesterday, but still believes that Keane has what it takes to take Ipswich back to the Premier League.

He said: “I was surprised to hear that Roy Keane had taken over at Ipswich so soon after walking out on Sunderland.

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“For me, this is a high risk appointment as Roy has shown he has problems dealing with players and people in general. There is likely to be a huge turnover of players at Portman Road if Roy's work at Sunderland is anything to go by but I would not be surprised at all if he was to get them promoted.

“If promotion to the Premier League is the aim and the chairman gives him his full backing then in the short term he may succeed at Ipswich. However, the players will be fearful of his appointment and I have my doubts long-term.

“It will be interesting to see what happens but the fact that Roy has shown he can't deal with players once in the Premier League arena will surely lead to problems in the not too distant future.”

Cascarino added: “Roy Keane's got 'shocking' information about me? I'd like to know what that is. Tell the world, Roy. I've got nothing to hide.

“But I know plenty about you that would shock quite a few people. If Roy's trying to intimidate me, it won't work. You can't bully me, Roy - Keane versus Cascarino is a fight that will go the distance.”

Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has welcomed Keane back into the managerial fold. He said: “He made the point about wanting to get back into the game, it is always nice to see that. We will just have to see what happens now.”

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