Roy Keane had the last laugh over his comments on the England squad playing darts the night before their 0-0 bore-draw against the USA.
The Three Lions failed to follow up on their thrilling 6-2 opening World Cup win over Iran but maintained top spot in Group B and now only need to avoid a four-goal defeat against Wales to progress.
Ahead of the game, though, Manchester United legend Keane wasn’t too pleased with the England squad’s attitude after just a single positive result.
The iconic Irish midfielder wasn’t happy about the players laughing and joking around, as well as stories of them playing darts the night before with the squad in ‘good spirits’.
“They’ve had a good start, six goals,” he said. “But I never believe all that nonsense when people talk about spirit.
“I never hear a manager or media come out and say about a bad spirit. There should be after the first game and three or four days away.
“They look very happy, they’re having a game of darts, they’re upbeat, most important thing over here is to win football matches, let’s see if they’re laughing in a few weeks.”
Fellow ITV pundits Gary Neville and Ian Wright were left in hysterics by Keane’s dour take on the optimism, with his former United teammate saying: “You’ve really captured the mood of the nation.”
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However, Keane felt he had some vindication from the performance and result against the US, and couldn’t wait to rub it in.
“We’ll be here all night making excuses,” he said. “It’s the same with lots of teams.
“These players have to travel over Europe playing in different systems, different conditions, they were playing darts last night.
Arsenal legend Wright instantly cracked into laughter and said: “I knew it, I knew he was going to come with that!”
Keane then continued: “Before the game they were a great bunch of players but they didn’t show their quality, simple as that but it happens.
“We’re not here to crucify the players, they should have done better, but move on to the next game, they’ll be fine, but they need to do better, tonight wasn’t good enough.”
Keane was also on top form when discussing the performance of England and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire.
The centre-back delivered a brilliant display but Keane insists that does not make up for his United woes.
“He’s done well tonight. The reason he gets stick is because he’s not playing well. That’s football,” Keane said.
‘For some reason everyone has sympathy for Harry Maguire. But he did do well tonight, done the basics right and defended, simple as that, that’s his job.’
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