Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane met to clear the air before they first faced each other as managers, the former has revealed.
Much was made of the first public showdown between the pair since the infamous Saipan incident of 2002 – so much so in fact that Sky Sports brought their cameras along to screen the match live – indeed, that November date was picked out by many as one to watch from the very second that Keane was appointed Sunderland manager in August 2006.
McCarthy says that there was never going to be animosity between the two when his Wolves side welcome Keane’s Black Cats to Molineaux – because they had already settled their differences.
Speaking to MailSport, McCarthy disclosed details of the half-hour meeting that poured cold water over what could have been a tense situation:
“I thought it was gonna be a circus. So I decided to blow everybody out of the water. I rang him up and said, “Listen, we can either be part of the circus or we can get together and have a chat and shake hands privately. We will piss on everybody’s chips”. So I drove to meet him in Cheshire and I’m glad I did.
“Half an hour and a cup of tea. We had a chat and it was done.“
The match itself finished 1-1 (with Sunderland winning the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Stadium of Light several months later), but it would be some time before they faced each other again as Keane earned promotion with his team that same season.