Sunderland boss Keane unhappy with fans abuse

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".

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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.

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