Roy Keane told Sunderland ace "you don’t have a pair of balls" in half-time rant

Former Sunderland boss Roy Keane once told defender Anton Ferdinand "you don’t have a pair of balls" during a half-time rant which sparked a comeback win.

As Sky Sports viewers have seen on more than one occasion, Keane is not afraid to speak his mind. And that was no different during the pundit's spell in charge of the Black Cats, who were losing 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers in November 2008 when he let rip on his centre-back.

Speaking on the Broadtalks Podcast, Ferdinand said: “We went in 1-0 down and Kenwyne [Jones] got outjumped just before half time. We got in the dressing-room and Roy Keane was just going proper off it. He was doing more than pointing fingers.

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“I don’t mind that – I grew up with it. If I’ve done something wrong then my mum and dad told me that I’d done something wrong. Then, all of a sudden, he said something about the backline and I was like ‘I don’t agree.'

“He just looked at me and said ‘I knew you were going to say something Mr Peckham’ – raw and straight-faced. I was a bit like 'ooh' and then he carried on, I didn’t say anything as I respected him, and he continued trying to get us up for the game.

“He goes: ‘Who is going to go out there in the second half and show me that they have a pair of balls? Who is going to grab this game by the scruff of the neck? We all know you won’t Anton because you don’t have a pair of balls have you?’

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“That p***ed me off massively but he knew what he was doing. He identified that he needed to spark me to spark the team and when we were in the tunnel before we went back out I turned around to the boys and said: ‘Let’s go out there and prove him wrong.’

“We went out and scored just after half time. We went on and won the game, I blocked one off the line in the last few minutes. The whistle has gone, I’m amped, and I’m walking in there to go to him ‘I’ve got no balls gaffer’ but he was at the door waiting for me and put his hand out and said: ‘I knew you was going to win this game.'

“He then pulled me in and give me the shoulder barge. He just started giggling and that was the end of it.”

Keane's management style may have helped win Sunderland the match, but it didn't ultimately save him his job. The Irishman left the club a matter of weeks later, handing in his resignation after a poor start to the season.


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