Robins can provide inspiration for Roy

WINLESS Roy Keane can look across the dug-outs at Oakwell tomorrow afternoon for inspiration after Ipswich Town's dreadful start to the season.

Elvin King

WINLESS Roy Keane can look across the dug-outs at Oakwell tomorrow afternoon for inspiration after Ipswich Town's dreadful start to the season.

In charge of the Barnsley team in a Championship fixture that kicks-off at 3pm is Mark Robins, who is recognised as saving the Manchester United managerial career of Sir Alex Ferguson.

And it could be argued that without Robins, Keane would never have enjoyed the exhilarating playing days he enjoyed under Fergie at Old Trafford.

Ferguson was feeling the cold discomfort of winter in January 1990 with stories that United's chairman at the time, Martin Edwards, was on the point of sacking his manager.

The Reds faced a tough FA Cup third round home tie at Nottingham Forest with the knives being sharpened if the Manchester giants had gone out of the competition.

Most Read

Robins came off the bench late into the game and scored the winning headed goal from a Mark Hughes cross.

Robins' goal secured Ferguson's immediate future and the rest is history with nearly 20 years of successful management and a cabinet full of silverware.

United won the FA Cup that season, and it has proved to be the first of many trophies for Ferguson, now accepted by many as the greatest manager of all time.

Robins, who went on to play for Norwich City for three years, took his first steps into management in 2007 with Rotherham, and when Barnsley parted company with Simon Davey earlier this season he was tempted to move up the Championship with the Tykes.

Sir Bobby Robson was in a similar position to Ferguson in September 1971 with Ipswich Town fans calling for his sacking after a George Best-inspired Manchester United knocked the Blues out of the League Cup.

However, chairman John Cobbold stood by him and this gave Robson time to find his feet and blossom into a successful manager home and abroad - and at international level.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter