England manager Gareth Southgate believes that Roy Keane’s comments towards Harry Maguire were made in an attempt to ‘stay relevant.’
Maguire has been singled out for criticism following several below-par performances for United in recent weeks, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side continue to struggle to find any form of consistency.
The 28-year-old headed in England’s opening goal during their 5-0 World Cup qualifier win over Albania on Friday, before putting his fingers in his ears to celebrate in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley.
But Keane described the United captain’s actions as ‘embarrassing’, while adding that he has been a ‘disgrace’ for the Red Devils since his return from injury last month.
Southgate, who defended Maguire after Friday’s match, has now dismissed Keane’s comments as a statement to make headlines.
‘I think we have to understand that the industry we’re in there’s different, in order to make a living you need to take different approaches so you have a choice of which type of approach you’re going to take,’ he told reporters ahead of Monday’s match against San Marino.
‘I was always thinking as an ex-player, ex-manager recognising how difficult those things we so I guess I had empathy of those were stepping over the line and those in the difficult.
‘It depends what you have to do to stay in work, some channels or forums require headlines, some channels or forums require a certain type of approach so it’s different, I understand that.
‘To stay relevant in those fields you need to be more quotable and lifted now used from the live broadcasts for next days headlines, everyone in those shows knows how it works and it fills a different part of our industry.
‘That’s where we’re at. Personally, as a manager I get it, so be it. But I’m sure for the players they may feel different, they’re younger, they may not have experienced those fields perhaps I’ve got.
‘They’re probably thinking there were players who surely remember how difficult it was to play thinking they didn’t like it when they were criticised to step over the white line was the most difficult thing.
‘They feel that a little bit differently to someone my age, so personally I get it, that’s the industry so be it.’