ANTON FERDINAND has revealed how Roy Keane accused him of ‘having no balls’ as he recalled how the Irishman inspired Sunderland to a famous comeback win at Blackburn.

The defender joined the Black Cats from West Ham in summer of 2008 when the tough-talking Manchester United legend was in charge.


Ferdinand, 47, would not play under Keane for long as the North East club’s struggles led to the then-manager resigning that December.

However, during their brief period together, the ex-defender says the now much-loved Sky Sports pundit’s no-nonsense and ruthless style had a major effect on him.

And none more so than an afternoon away at Ewood Park on November 15th when Sunderland came from 1-0 down at the break to beat Blackburn 2-1 due to goals from Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse.

Speaking on the Broadtalks Podcast, Ferdinand said: “We went in 1-0 down and Kenwyne got outjumped just before half time.

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“We got in the dressing-room and Roy Keane was just going proper offit. He was doing more than pointing fingers.

“I don’t mind that – I grew up with it. If I’ve done something wrong then my mum and dad told me that I’d done something wrong.

“Then, all of a sudden, he said something about the backline and I was like ‘I don’t agree!’

“He just looked at me and said ‘I knew you were going to say something Mr Peckham’ – raw and straight-faced.

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“I was a bit like “ooh” and then he carried on, I didn’t say anything as I respected him, and he continued trying to get us up for the game.

“He goes: ‘Who is going to go out there in the second half and show me that they have a pair of balls? Who is going to grab this game by the scruff of the neck? We all know you won’t Anton because you don’t have a pair of balls have you?’”

Ferdinand continued: “That p***ed me off massively but he knew what he was doing.

“He identified that he needed to spark me to spark the team and when we were in the tunnel before we went back out I turned around to the boys and said: ‘Let’s go out there and prove him wrong.’

“We went out and scored just after half time. We went on and won the game, I blocked one off the line in the last few minutes.”

Ferdinand then explained what happened after the final whistle – and how Keane stopped a potential explosive confrontation.

He added: “The whistle has gone, I’m amped, and I’m walking in there to go to him ‘I’ve got no balls gaffer’ but he was at the door waiting for me and put his hand out and said: ‘I knew you was going to win this game.”

“He then pulled me in and give me the shoulder barge. He just started giggling and that was the end of it.”

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