Roy Keane has resigned after two years as Sunderland manager following weeks of speculation about his future.
Keane decides he is not the right man after all
While defeat at Old Trafford may have dealt a severe blow to one former Manchester United player's hopes of hanging on to his job, another decided not to wait for his trip to the Theatre of Dreams. For, just hours after Blackburn Rovers supporters began to turn on manager Paul ince following a 5-3 defeat to United in the Carling Cup, his former midfield partner at the club Roy Keane walked out on his post at Sunderland after a dismal run of form and facing a daunting game against Sir Alex Ferguson's side tomorrow. The Irishman held crisis talks with Sunderland's board yesterday morning after which it was decided the two parties would go their separate ways. Keane, 37, who was appointed in August 2006, leaves with Sunderland in the English Premier League relegation zone after an awful set of results. He led Sunderland into the Premier League in his first season in charge while his debut year in the top flight resulted in a 15th-placed finish. Keane then embarked on another summer of heavy spending but the new additions, such as Pascal Chimbonda have failed to gel and the situation came to a head in Saturday's dismal 4-1 home thumping by Bolton. Afterwards Keane admitted he was starting to doubt his suitability for the post. He said in the post-match press conference: "I ask myself every single day if I am the right man for Sunderland. I asked myself this morning and I said that I was. Tomorrow morning if the answer's no we will have to look at it. "I have to be honest in my assessment. It's not about what's best for Roy Keane. It's Sunderland Football Club. I might wake up on Monday morning and think I'm the right man. On Tuesday it might be different." His contract was due to expire at the end of the season with talks over a new deal reportedly ongoing. First-team coach Ricky Sbragia will take over team affairs on an interim basis. Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn said: "First of all on behalf of everyone here I would like to pay thanks to Roy Keane for all his hard work in progressing this club, lifting its status and growing its worldwide profile. "Roy deserves huge respect for his contribution, his decision to stand aside and allow someone else to take charge of the next chapter sums up his desire to always do what is best for the club. "The board has reluctantly accepted his decision and wish him and his family well for the future." Keane added: "I would like to thank my staff, players, Niall Quinn and in particular the fans for their support during my time at Sunderland, and I would like to wish the club every success in the future." Meanwhile, as Carlos Tevez completed a quartet of goals, tripling his tally for the season, to help United defeat Blackburn 5-3, a miserable return to Old Trafford for Paul Ince was completed by a section of Rovers supporters calling for his departure. The concession of five goals occupied Ince's thought. Already possessing the most porous defence in the Premier League, he requires rapid improvement with Liverpool visiting Ewood Park tomorrow. "Nobody likes to lose games, especially myself," said Ince, who has gone nine league games without a win. Tevez, a fringe player since the purchase of Dimitar Berbatov, relished a rare start. "For the players who do not play very often, it was a very good night," he said. "Carlos' commitment was brilliant. It definitely makes my job more difficult, although it also makes the club stronger," added his manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Tevez is not alone in scoring the majority of his goals this season in the Carling Cup. Roman Pavlyuchenko has the same distinction, following a penalty to equalise before holders Tottenham overcame Watford 2-1. It was an eighth win in the 11 games that comprise Harry Redknapp's reign and the fourth time they have won after trailing. No wonder, then, that Redknapp said: "I thought we showed terrific character."