Sunderland boss Keane: Slackers were axed

Sunderland boss Roy Keane won't accept his players slacking off in training - even it means plunging them into a relegation battle.

Kieran Richardson, Michael Chopra, Danny Higginbotham and Daryl Murphy were all axed by Keane for Saturday's home defeat to Chelsea.

And Manchester United legend Keane said: "I pick my team on what I see and not what I hear from people or agents or fathers or girlfriends.

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"I judge my players on what I see on the training pitch. And that's an intensity to do well, to improve, to become better.

"The other four or five will be back training with them tomorrow and then, maybe, they'll be involved next week and others will slack off.

"Top, top players, the people who become big world stars like Frank Lampard, work their socks off as well.

"Those players don't just take it easy all week and turn up on a Saturday and turn it on.

"The French lads at United told me that Zidane was the best trainer every day. He didn't just turn up, he trained harder than anybody throughout his career.

"That's what you have to do if you want to become a top player. You can't just have an easy Monday, easy Tuesday, day off Wednesday, easy Thursday and Friday's the day before the game so it's just a bit of banter."

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