Opposition supporters would be wise to consider alternatives before insulting at Roy Keane. The Irishman reflected on recent incidents of players and managers being abused by fans - Sol Campbell and Harry Redknapp have this week complained about the treatment they have received from the stands - and admitted that he has often been tempted to "do a Cantona".

The Sunderland boss thinks some form of mild response should be permitted.

He does not condone violence, of course, but the desire to emulate Eric Cantona, his former team-mate at Manchester United, has, on occasion, been strong.

In January 1995, the Frenchman famously leapt studs-first into the stand at Selhurst Park, making contact with Matthew Simmons, a Crystal Palace fan.

In his autobiography, Keane, who was playing that day, referred to Simmons as a "looper".

"I don't take it personally. You try and forget about it, but sometimes you react - you're human. Ashley Cole reacted last week, then people want him to be fined and hammered and banned. I think you should be allowed to give a little bit back. I do. I wanted to do an Eric Cantona loads of times. I wanted to do it everywhere. Eventually, Eric just thought, 'Enough is enough'.

"In other sports - NBA basketball - we've seen players going into the crowd and fighting people. You can see it with managers. I saw Brian Clough go on to the pitch after a cup game against QPR and smack two supporters. It's just the mood he was in. As he said, they ran on to his pitch - it's like running on to his garden. Get off," Keane told The Times.