It’s the last minute of Sunderland’s trip to Reading. The Black Cats look to be returning north with a useful away point, when Stephen Hunt’s close range shot is deemed to have crossed the line by the assistant. It’s a close call, and one which you would expect Roy Keane to take serious issue with. Especially after last weeks expression of dissatisfaction with referee Steve Bennett. But no – Keane is the model of restraint in the post match interviews. Unhappy with the decision – yes, but emotions kept well under control.
With Sunderland dropping into the bottom three, it’s critical how Keane conducts himself. Keeping a cool head; staying out of controversy; thinking clearly. Roy Keane by his manner and attitude can lead his team out of their predicament. An attitude of a manager who knows his team will not be relegated. Knows his team will stay up. It’s an attitude that rubs off on players.
When players see the tension get to a manager, then it can have a bad effect on their game. They fear making mistakes. Tension grips their performances. A cool, calm manager can ease this tension, simply by their attitude. If they are settled and relaxed, the team stays calm. A calm team makes less mistakes. A calm team handles pressure. A calm team finds ways to win close games.
Roy Keane may come under increasing pressure as the season wears on. But only if he feels under pressure will the pressure get to him. Belief in himself; belief in his team; no fear of failure. Key thoughts that can make the difference between success and failure.