He soon reversed his opinion on the Ireland star
The 2002 World Cup marks the first time Clinton Morrison encountered Roy Keane and on first impression, he was unmoved by what he saw.
''I remember when I first saw him training. Tight shorts, socks up to his knees, Diadora boots. I thought to myself, ‘This guy is no footballer’. Then we did a passing session and it was just unbelievable. Then a finishing session and he didn’t miss. Then you see him play in games, what he covered and how good he was on the ball.''
The tournament was marred by the conflict between Keane and then manager Mick McCarthy which ultimately resulted in the Cork born player departing the scene. Morrison spent some time getting to know Keane before the drama unfolded which exposed him to the high standards Keane set for himself as well as what he expected from the players around him.
“He wanted to train how you played and, if you didn’t, he would lose his rag. He was nerve-racking but he made your game rise to another level. I remember walking along the beach at the World Cup with him. He would always tell us not to settle for second best. He said, ‘don’t think you are here to make up the numbers’.”
Morrison now plies his trade as an impact substitute with Exeter City and they will need to adopt that kind of mentality when they face Liverpool in the FA Cup next Friday night.