Keane Looking Forward to Mariner's Return
Tuesday, 23rd Mar 2010 08:40 by 0
Boss Roy Keane says he is looking forward to Town legend Paul Mariner’s return to Portman Road with Plymouth this evening. Keane says it’s important for clubs to remember their history and the players who made it.
Argyle manager Mariner made 339 appearances for the Blues, scoring 135 goals, having joined Town from the Pilgrims in a deal worth £220,000 (including the £100,000-rated pair Terry Austin and John Peddelty who moved the other way) in October 1976, before moving on to Arsenal for £150,000 in February 1984.
Keane is a big fan of the former centre forward: “Paul Mariner was a top, top player. I enjoyed a chat with him after the game when we played down there earlier in the season and I’m looking forward to seeing him again. It’s nice to meet these people who have achieved stuff in life.
“I’m sure our fans will give him a good reception and rightly so, but when the whistle goes, I’m sure he’ll be focused on trying to get three points for his club and I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
The Blues boss says clubs like Town shouldn’t forget history makers such as Mariner, who was in Sir Bobby Robson’s 1978 FA Cup and 1981 UEFA Cup-winning sides: “I think the top clubs always look after their ex-players, they always get a good reception and they deserve it.
“They were top, top players. You look at their stats and their goals and what they achieved, they made this club. It gives you your history.
“That’s what this club has that a lot of clubs haven’t – history. I know it was 20 or 30 years ago, but it still gives you something so you can say that it’s been done before. Gives you all a bit of hope.
“There will be supporters here who remember Paul Mariner and they’ll be looking forward to it. Fantastic. That’s what football’s all about.”
Keane says he always likes to speak with opposition bosses after matches: “I enjoyed the chat with him after the game down there and it’s great for me as a manager to meet these people who have good experience.
“There’s a battle on the pitch, but I always look forward to it after the game, win lose or draw.”
The former Manchester United skipper grew up a Spurs fan but remembers Sir Bobby Robson’s Town team fondly: “Paul was a top player, John Wark comes to the training ground and I enjoy chatting with John every now and again.
“I couldn’t praise these players highly enough. These were top, top players. Look at Paul Mariner and John Wark’s goal records. I was going to try to get him out of retirement. He got 36 goals one season from midfield, we haven’t got that as a team!
“If you go up the training ground, these players certainly aren’t forgotten, there are pictures everywhere. And I love that. Some managers shy away from it, I love it. It’s the same at Nottingham Forest.
”The history of your football club is vital. You shouldn’t get away from it. I look forward to seeing Paul and I hope he gets a brilliant reception."
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