Carragher and Mourinho admit what it’s really like working with Roy Keane at Sky

Since hanging up his boots and transitioning into the world of punditry, Roy Keane has solidified his no-nonsense, stony-hearted persona by delivering a number of hilariously cold one-liners.

The former Manchester United hardman is not one for mincing his words in the TV studio, instead getting straight to the point and ripping into players, coaches or even his fellow pundits on frequent occasions.

Whether it's for Sky Sports or ITV, he always proves box-office entertainment when in front of a camera – but is Keane really as frosty as he seems?

Some of the Irishman's co-pundits have lifted the lid on his true character behind the scenes, with the likes of Jamie Carragher, Jose Mourinho and Ian Wright sharing their experiences of working alongside him in recent years.

Jamie Carragher

“The first time I worked with [Keane] was ITV, I’d never spoken to him," Carragher told talkSPORT.

“I went down to breakfast and he was there on his own – shock! I spoke to him for about an hour and he was brilliant.

“You hear stories about characters at different clubs and you don’t know what they’re like until they come to your club.

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“Roy Keane was one when everyone said he was a hot-head, then he was fine.”

The Liverpool legend added: “I would love to have a beer with him but he doesn’t drink.

“He came on the Christmas night with Sky, he didn’t drink but he was still there, he didn’t shun what was going on. He’s a team man and he got involved.”

Graeme Souness

“I know Roy, we live near each other in Cheshire and I’ve waved to him a few times when he’s been out walking his dog,” Souness told Off The Ball.

“I enjoy his company, he is very funny and I find his humour very funny.

“I can’t hide my feelings. I’d be a very poor poker player, Roy would be hopeless at it too.”

Ian Wright

"Honestly, I’ve got so much admiration for Roy Keane," Wright told BBC's Match of the Day podcast.

"We were at the World Cup together [as pundits] and I was thinking, ‘oh my gosh, we’re really cool mates, it’s fine’.

"And I remember there was this one time I asked Roy if he wanted to go to lunch, because we had breakfast then we’d go for lunch.

"He said, ‘okay, Wrighty. See you at 1:15.’

"I said, ‘no problem, I’ve just got to go and do some stuff’.

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"So I had to go and do that, I got there at 1.17, I was waiting in the lobby, I phoned and said, ‘Roy, okay, I’m here’.

"And he said, ‘Wrighty, 1.15 is 1.15, I’m not coming’.

"I laughed because I thought he was only messing about but he said, ‘Wrighty, I’m not coming’. He hung up the phone and I never saw him until the evening.

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"As soon as I saw him he done one of those cheeky smiles he’s got and he said, ‘this is why Man United was so successful, we done what had to be done on time, we done what we needed to do’."

Wright added: "When he’s off camera he’s just a very serious man, he’s a serious bloke, he doesn’t deal with foolishness.

"I cannot stop laughing when I’m in his presence, the way he shuts people down and shuts things off, it just makes me laugh all the time, I just love being around him."

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Jose Mourinho

“I tell in a soft way. I like to listen to the opinions of people with different experiences,” Mourinho told The Times.

“For example, when I sat with Roy Keane and Graeme Souness in the same match, they have experiences as top players that I didn’t have. I have experiences as a coach that they didn’t have.

“They know what it is to play Champions League final as a player. I know what it is to play Champions League final on the touchline, as a coach. I learn with them; they learn with me. I like that a lot.”

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Lee Dixon

“Roy is an absolute gem to work with because you don’t know what he is going to say next, so I love working with him from that point of view," Dixon told The Mirror Football podcast.

“He is an absolute football fanatic. He knows absolutely everything about every team.

“He comes in and says, ‘did you see Colchester’s full-back yesterday?’

"He watches football all the time, he knows all the scores and he is very, very keen on knowing everything about football that he can. He is brilliant to work with.

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“It pains me to say it, but me and him have become quite friendly. I’m not sure what it is but he seems to quite like me!

“He has got a persona on TV, like we all have, and he does his stuff, where he’s not the biggest smiler in the world.

“But he does come out with some gems and he knows the game, so he’s one of my favourite people to work with.”

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Micah Richards

“A lot of people ask me about Roy outside of work. I don’t know him, I don’t ring him, I don’t text him,” Richards told Sky's Super 6 podcast.

“Behind the scenes though he is just the nicest, funniest guy. He’s so sharp you know, he’s just on it.

"When football clicks into gear, that’s when his passion shines through. People think his on-air personality is a facade, but that’s his genuine passion for the game. It’s all real.

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“But as a person.. I have to be careful about how he’s perceived. I don’t want people to think I’m benefitting off him. Yes, it’s a double act, but I have to be careful as to what levels people can see him at.”

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