Hibernian’s hunt for a new manager to replace the recently-ousted Shaun Maloney continues to stir up speculation linking Roy Keane with a move to Easter Road.
The former Manchester United midfielder is currently bookies’ favourite for the vacant role, and is understood to have communicated his interest in accepting the position to club chiefs.
Renowned for his no-nonsense style of play and similarly frank approach to punditry, the 50-year-old has garnered a notoriety as one of football’s hardest characters.
And according to the man himself, his managerial inclinations are in-keeping with his wider reputation.
Reflecting on his management career during a Cadbury’s Off The Ball roadshow back in 2019, he said: “People say I was very demanding as if I should almost apologise for it, particularly when I’m in a coaching role.
“Brian Clough - you’re on about motivation - he punched me one time. He was upset. It was heated. He punched me. I remember thinking ‘You’re still a brilliant manager’.
“I came in the next day and trained. I didn’t text somebody in the media. Or go on Ratsapp.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Keane has also made it clear in recent times that above all else, he values finding ways to win matches by any means.
Speaking during an interview on The Overlap with former United teammate Gary Neville, he said: “I’ve had interviews [for managerial roles], I had an interview recently.
“I spoke to a Championship club about three months ago. It was very casual, it was at my house, a chat with the chairman.
“And to be fair, he was straight up, he went, ‘Listen, we just want somebody who can come in and win football matches’.
“That was fine with me, I didn’t have to break down styles of play.
“And I think if you’re winning matches, people don’t then question, ‘What’s your style of play?’ You just bounce into the next match, don’t you? And we did it as players.”
Not everyone is a fan of Keane’s hard-line approach, however.
Gabby Agbonlahor, who was coached by the Irishman at Villa, has suggested that his methods could border on the “disrespectful” at times.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “The problem with Roy Keane when he came to Aston Villa was that he couldn’t understand how we weren’t as good as the players he played with. He couldn’t accept that we weren’t going to be as good as Giggs, Scholes, Beckham and those players.
“Just his way of coaching, it wasn’t the right method for players nowadays when he was at Aston Villa. It was the way he spoke to players. There were times when there were players like Joe Cole, he just didn’t speak to them right. He spoke to them in a way that was disrespectful.
“It was in front of people. It was very disrespectful, you know there is ways to put it to players. His man management I’d say was 0/100, it was that bad.”
Likewise, ex-Ipswich Town defender Damien Delaney has spoken openly about Keane’s abrasive style of man-management.
He told Off The Ball : “He did what he thought was correct at the time and he managed the way that he thought was correct, and I was on the end of a lot of it... an awful lot of it, if I’m honest with you.
“It wasn’t fine at the time, as it grinds you down. I have laughed when people said this before - but if Roy Keane has said he was too hard on you, can you imagine what I had to go through?
“It was tough enough and he did used to favour coming for me. But again, you try and take it on the chin and focus on the game.
“The only thing that kept me going was that he picked me. If a manager is having a go at you and you’re not in the team, or even worse he is not talking to you and not picking you, then he doesn’t think very much of you.
“But I think I played nigh-on every game for him, bar a game or two here and there when I was banished for a mistake. But nigh-on every game.
“That is the only thing that consoled me: he can’t think I’m that bad because he’s picking me. So he would destroy me after a game, not speak to me for a week, and then named the team on the Saturday and I’d be in it!”