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By ESPN Staff

Keane relishing first game as Black Cats boss

New Sunderland boss Roy Keane admits his first week as a manager has been too hectic to enjoy.

The 35-year-old has wasted no time in making his mark on Wearside, bringing in six deadline-day signings and running the rule over the squad he inherited.

He will send out his team for the first time at Derby on Saturday, and while he is looking forward to the experience, he has endured a whirlwind few days.

Keane told the club's official website: 'It's been too busy to enjoy it, certainly a hectic week.

'It has settled down in the last few days and I've enjoyed it in terms of being on the training pitch.

'The new players have settled in with the other lads and I'm pleased with the way it has gone.

'It's a challenge for me, I'm a new manager and I'm really looking forward to it (Saturday's game).

'We will prepare properly and we hope not to let ourselves or the fans down.'

One of those signings, David Connolly, has warned the rest of the Coca-Cola Championship not to be taken in by the club's poor start to the season.

Four successive league defeats left the Black Cats at the bottom of the table.

However, with Keane in the stands at the Stadium of Light just hours before he was confirmed as the new manager, they defeated West Brom 2-0 last time out to launch what they hope will be a charge up the table.

Connolly said: 'It is a marathon, not a sprint. I remember at West Ham, we lost to Crystal Palace in the play-off final and they were near the bottom up until Christmas and put on a tremendous run.

'We are still in September, so there is a long, long way to go. It has been done before by teams who were in a lot worse position.

'We are only seven points off second, so that is two wins and a draw.

'You can pick up lots of points in this league - next week, there are three games, there are nine points up for grabs there. There are plenty of points to play for still.'

The 29-year-old striker, a former international colleague of his new manager, expects Keane to bring all his legendary passion and will to win to his new role.

He said: 'That should be there anyway, but he will drive us on.

'The standards he set for himself and his team-mates when he was playing, I am sure he will expect those same standards of his own team. You can be sure of that.'

Like Connolly, 32-year-old midfielder Graham Kavanagh played alongside Keane for his country, and admits the change of roles has proved strange in the early days.

Kavanagh said: 'He's now the gaffer. We spoke to him on Monday morning for the first time face-to-face, and it was a bit strange, calling him 'Gaffer'.

'But that's just the way it is. He has got his training coat on now, he is out on the training pitch and he is the gaffer. He is giving out the orders, and that is fine.

'He has got a huge amount of knowledge that he wants to pass on and he wants things done properly.

'We have both worked with him with the Irish team and seen how he prepares and his enthusiasm.

'The player he has been, I just felt he can still improve me. I can learn a lot from him and certainly feel like within this season, if we can gain some momentum behind us, we can hopefully push up this league and be challenging that top six - and hopefully, the top two.'