Keane keeps his powder dry over ban

ROY Keane resisted the temptation to just lash out at the Football Association, with all guns blazing, during his first chance to air his disapproval over Jon Stead's failed red card appeal at yesterday's press conference.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

ROY Keane resisted the temptation to just lash out at the Football Association, with all guns blazing, during his first chance to air his disapproval over Jon Stead's failed red card appeal at yesterday's press conference.

The Irishman has never been afraid to hit out at football authorities in the past, especially his occasional disagreements with the Irish FA.


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You felt that Keane really wanted to lay into the FA yesterday, but although he was heavily critical of the Wednesday lunchtime verdict - to throw out Town's appeal and increase Stead's suspension from three to four games - he was more guarded in his comments.

Having said that, the Ipswich supremo was clear in his condemnation of the final outcome.

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"If that tackle deserved four games, then I'm glad that I'm not playing anymore!" insisted former hard man midfielder Keane.

"That's why it (the FA's decision) puts you off the game of football sometimes.

"It was only a yellow card, but that's what happens in football these days.

"Steady is as honest as the day is long, and I've seen the tackle over and over again.

"He's now going to be out for the best part of a month. Just because we appealed, he's now got an extra game.

"It was not a nice feeling to learn that he has got an extra game. The challenge was clumsy at best.

"Football is a physical game, and it was just a mistimed tackle," added Keane.

Stead was flashed the red card by referee Paul Taylor, for a late challenge on Freddie Sears, during Town's 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

As a result, the ex-Sheffield United and Sunderland marksman will miss tomorrow's FA Cup third round tie at Blackpool, as well as the league fixtures at Leicester City and against Coventry, plus either another league or cup game.

Keane continued: "I've been a manager for 120-odd games (127 for Sunderland and Town), and I don't remember a major decision going my way in that time! The major decisions always seem to go against us.

"What's happened with Jon (Stead) makes me think about whether to appeal in the future.

"The FA might have thought that he'd have scored two goals the other day, when he got to play in that game, and so added another game on at the end to make an extra point.

"I'm obviously very disappointed, and let's not forget that it's very disappointing for the player himself. Steady had never been sent off before, and he'll be a big loss to us. We're certainly going to miss him.

"And four games is a lot, especially for that tackle! Though I got five once!" added Keane.

Stead boosted his tally to six goals in nine games with a brace in the 3-0 home win over QPR on Monday.

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