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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 23, 2006

Keane insists McCarthy feud is at an end

Sunderland boss Roy Keane will shake hands with Mick McCarthy tomorrow night after insisting their feud is at an end.

The pair will go head-to-head at Molineux for the first time since their infamous pre-2002 World Cup finals bust-up in Saipan as the 16th-placed Black Cats travel to Wolves with three precious Championship points at stake.

Keane and McCarthy claim they have settled their differences, which saw the former Manchester United skipper sent home from the Republic of Ireland squad after an irrevocable split.

However, Wanderers boss McCarthy offered the 35-year-old an olive branch when he called him to inquire about a prospective loan deal earlier this month, and it was one Keane was happy to take.

Former Republic manager McCarthy said earlier this week he would shake hands with his former captain and, asked if he would do the same, Keane with a grin: 'I would have thought so, yes.

'It is all history now. It is all about Sunderland against Wolves now, not the managers.

'We put that to bed a few weeks ago and life goes on. Mick rang about a player and we had chat and it led to one or two other things.

'It is history now, it really is. There is nothing to add to it.'

Keane's attempt to play down the rift which once existed is understandable, but will do little to quell the interest in an eagerly-anticipated reunion.

He admitted: 'We cannot do anything about that. The media have got their jobs to do. They have got to sell newspapers and create headlines.

'But from watching the players this week, there is no other reason why they should not be focused on the game.

'They have trained well on the back of a decent result last week. We have got some decent lads in the squad and they will just be focussing on the game, and rightly so.'

It has been an interesting few months for Keane, who arrived at the Stadium of Light in August admitting his forthright approach to the game had cost him at times.

As he was unveiled, he signalled his intent to bring a greater calmness to the latest phase of his career, and that is something he believes he has done.

He said: 'I think I have been fairly calm. Some of the players might disagree.

'I have tried to do that because if you are going to lose your head - there is stuff going on every day that will get you scratching your head, so if you are going to get frustrated, you will age fairly quickly.

'I think I do that enough in 90 minutes on a Saturday and, the rest of the week, I try to stay relatively calm, especially if it is stuff that is out of my control that I cannot really do anything about.'

However, Keane's willingness to articulate his feelings without holding back remains unaffected.

His attempts to add new blood to his squad ahead of today's deadline for loan deals - Sheffield United's Paul Ifill and Manchester United youngster Jonny Evans are thought to have been among his targets - seem to have reached a disappointing impasse, prompting an icy blast.

Keane said: 'A lot of footballers these days, the first question they ask is: `What kind of money am I going to be getting?

'I find that amazing. That is my point, putting money in front of playing games, winning trophies.

'I would not begrudge any player a few bob. It is a short career and you have got to make it while you can.

'But don't get sidetracked by putting money before playing games.'

Wolves will once again be without Carl Cort tomorrow, with the striker facing three months on the sidelines after knee cartilage surgery.

Wanderers physio Barry Holmes said: 'Corty has battled on with this problem for a number of months now but it has got to the stage where he has played games in quick succession and his knee is not settling.'

McCarthy promised Keane a warm welcome, insisting tomorrow's handshake will be no publicity stunt.

'I will shake his hand, of course I will, and it will be a genuine gesture and not something for the TV cameras,' McCarthy said.

'I will also ask Roy into my office for a drink afterwards. I know he doesn't drink alcohol but I'll pour him a lemonade or a cola or a coffee or whatever he wants.

'The content of our telephone call will remain private between Roy and myself but I am relieved the situation has been resolved because it seemed everyone was getting something out of it except myself and Roy.'