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On This Day: Alex Ferguson hopeful that Roy Keane will stay at Old Trafford

Alex Ferguson was hopeful that Roy Keane will stay at Old Trafford
Andy Watters

ALEX Ferguson yesterday admitted to being “very hopeful” that Roy Keane will stay at Manchester United.

The club’s skipper is set to delay a decision on his future – he had been due to make an announcement today on whether to accept United’s contract offer.

That move, combined with United manager Ferguson’s confidence, now points to the Republic of Ireland international agreeing to stay at Old Trafford.

“I am very hopeful,” said Ferguson.

“I think Roy knows the value of the club and he loves playing for Manchester United.

“That’s a strong set of cards to hold in your hand, and you add all these things up, he’s captain of the club and having a terrific spell.

“But he is undecided about a lot of things and I think quite rightly he’s taking his time with it – you shouldn’t rush into these things anyway.

“But hopefully he’ll stay,” he told Sky.

Keane’s original plan was to make his announcement yesterday, and then postponed it to following this afternoon’s home game against Leeds. However Keane’s lawyer and adviser, Michael Kennedy, said he may need even longer to make up his mind.

Kennedy said: “Roy Keane is considering his position and he will make a decision in the next day or two.”

ENNISKILLEN’S star midfielder Paul Brewster looks set to miss Sunday’s Fermanagh Senior Football Championship semi-final against Devenish (3pm at Irvinestown).

The player went off during last weekend’s league match against Derrygonnelly with a hamstring injury for which he is currently receiving treatment.

His younger brother Tom said yesterday that barring a miracle Paul is definitely out.

“He is getting loads of treatment every day and hopefully he will be back in a week or two. I had the same thing before the Monaghan game and had three weeks to get better and I only just got back in time.”

CELTIC head coach John Barnes insists he has not missed playing for a moment since moving into management – but admits one aspect of his new job is hurting him.

The former England international has now formally retired as a player to launch a coaching career which currently reads: three games, three wins, 14 goals scored, none conceded.

But the successful start has left him with mixed feelings because his policy of staying with individuals who perform means others being left frustrated on the Parkhead sidelines.

Wednesday night’s 6-0 Uefa Cup first qualifying-round first-leg success against Cwmbran at Ninian Park means Barnes has no reason to contemplate changes at Dundee United on Sunday. But he concedes he is finding it tough to tell those on the fringes there is no immediate prospect of making the first team while the goals are flowing.

He said: “It’s good news for Celtic to have so many quality players – but having a big squad is nice and at the same time not so nice from a personal point of view.

“When I see good professionals who deserve to be playing and I cannot find room for them it’s not nice, even though it’s a decision I have to make. “It’s what I’ve found most difficult starting out as a coach.

“But I think managers who have been in the game 20 years probably feel the same way at times.

“It’s never hard to leave out problem players, of course, but at Celtic all the lads are good lads who have given everything and got on with the job.”

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