Sunderland boss Keane slams Premiership stars

Roy Keane has launched an attack on today's Premier League stars, insisting they are not a patch on the characters during his playing days.

The Sunderland boss says he has no time for players who allow their career paths to be plotted by their so-called WAGs, and who are more likely to be directed by the quality of the local boutiques than by the football club.

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Keane said: "It's important you bring the right players to the club. You can't always be a Steve Bruce but you can be a character who comes in and gives 100% for the club.

"But I have to say I think the game is getting less and less characters. They are more motivated by lots of different things like money and London and living in shopping areas.

"Really you're a footballer and when you're retired you can live anywhere you want. But players are very much focused on where they are going to live and a lot of that is down to their partners who seem to be running their lives anyway.

"It concerns me really. It should all be about the football and be a footballing decision."

"Characters have nothing to be nervous of," Keane added. "There's nothing to be nervous of in the Premier League, nothing to be fearful of.

"A lot of it's built up as the Premier League is this, the Premier League is that.

A lot of teams have 24 or 25 top players but it's still 11 versus 11. Their players have two arms and two legs like us."

It is a self-belief that can turn good players into great ones.

"You look at Brucie," Keane said. "He was a top character. If you look at him as a centre-half he wasn't exactly 6ft 4ins, and he wasn't lightning, let me tell you.

"But he had the character and desire to do well and that made him a top player, and hopefully a top manager, so you need that kind of character in your dressing room."

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