I’m back, Keane warns title rivals

MANCHESTER: Manchester United’s inspirational captain Roy Keane (pic) laid down the gauntlet to their rivals for the Premier League here on Monday declaring he would only get better and better. 

The 31-year-old former Republic of Ireland captain has played in United’s last three matches – the defeats by Blackburn and Middlesbrough and the victory over Birmingham – since returning from a four month lay-off following a hip operation. 

“It is hard for any player coming back after so long out of the team,” the midfield hardman told the BBC. 

“I need matches to get the sharpness back. When I came on against Blackburn I was probably their (Rovers) best player!” he joked. 

However he was pleased with the way he had performed in the 2-0 win over Birmingham on Saturday which was accompanied by United manager Alex Ferguson saying he would like Keane to stay on for another five years. 

“I didn’t do too badly on Saturday,” Keane said. 

“Physically and mentally I feel fresh and while I need to be patient, the more matches I play, the better I will get.” 

United will seek to make inroads into Arsenal’s five point lead today when they host Sunderland while the leaders are at home to Chelsea.  

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