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02nd Feb 2023

Roy Keane says Man United’s improvement is down to “energy sappers” leaving

Lee Costello

Keane United

“The energy levels are different.”

Roy Keane has claimed that Man United’s remarkable improvement this season is down to a number of “energy sappers” leaving the club.

The Irishman was full of praise for Erik ten Hag and the job he has done since arriving at Old Trafford, but credits the departures of certain players as a major factor in this resurgence.

The club have reached the Carabao Cup final after convincingly beating Nottingham Forest in the semi-final, and will play Newcastle in the decider.

Jaden Sancho

The possibility of bringing a trophy back to United, especially after the recent seasons that they have endured, would be a huge lift for the club.

“When the manager came in, United were rock bottom and we had to talk about the recruitment, but what I think was key as well was the five or six players that left,” Keane told Sky Sports.

“I’m not knocking all these players, Pogba, Mata, Matic, Jesse Lingard, lads who’d been around and knew they were leaving. They knew they’d be leaving and their contracts were up for most of them and I think that wasn’t helping.

“There definitely feels around the club a new energy, the new manager has put a few markers down after a bad to start to the season, and that momentum and that feel good factor is back at the club. The energy levels are different.”

“I think that’s helped (Ronaldo’s departure) the manager and the club,” Keane added.

“No one wanted that to be hanging over the second half of the season and it should have been dealt with in the summer. That whole Ronaldo situation, he obviously wasn’t going to sit on the bench and be happy with it.

‘They’ve now dealt with it and now it’s not hanging over the club anymore. But also the other five or six lads that left, Cavani another one.

“Those who were fringe players, coming off the bench, and when they were coming on they weren’t bringing anything because they felt they should have been starting.

‘Those subs and fringe players have to come on and be ready, where as the fringe players last year, you just felt they were energy-sappers.”

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