Last updated : 31 December 2004 By Editor
If you aren't tired this morning you will be after reading this. It's another one of those fascinating interviews from the official site. This time Roy Keane gets treatment.

How would you assess United's current form?

"I think it's been very good over the last nine or ten games. We had far too many draws at the start of the season and it would have been nice if we could have turned one or two of those into victories, but it wasn't to be. We've just got to focus on what we're doing at present and make sure we keep going because you never know what can happen. Unfortunately we're still missing one or two important players through injury but the team's showing good form and hopefully that will continue."

You've been in this position before when you've had to come from behind
to win the title. Is this the time when experience will really count?

"We hope so. Over the last ten or twelve years we've always been there or
thereabouts and hopefully that will tell. But from the players' point of view all we can do is focus on the next match. I'm sure the manager, Carlos [Queiroz], Mike Phelan and the rest of the staff are looking at the bigger picture. But as players we've just got to concentrate on the Middlesbrough game and try and get the win to keep the pressure on the teams at the top."

That fact that United are in such good form yet neither Arsenal nor Chelsea
are slipping up must be frustrating…

"That's the name of the game and you've just got to try and put pressure on the opposition. You've got to give credit to other teams; they've both had a couple of good results over the last few days. We've just got to stay focused on ourselves because if you keep winning football matches you never what will happen come the end of the season. We've been down this road many times before and you'll be surprised to find what a little bit of pressure can do."

How do you assess the task facing you at Middlesbrough on New Year's

"It's going to be very hard as we've experienced over the years. They're a good team and I think Steve's [McClaren] done a brilliant job up there. I was lucky enough to play under him [at United] and I thought he was an outstanding coach and he's proved himself to be a very good manager as well. I think the job he's done at Middlesbrough has probably been a bit underestimated and he's also done very well with England. The players he brought in last summer have got a lot of experience and they've also got some very good young players, so there's a good balance to their squad. We're expecting a tough game but you're always going to get hard games away from home. We're in decent form and hopefully we can get the result we want."

Are you expecting a similar test against Boro to what you faced at Villa

"These games are always tough no matter what time of the season you go there. Whenever you go up to the North-East against the likes of Middlesbrough, Newcastle or Sunderland, you know you're in for a tough game because they've got passionate fans who demand a good performance from their team. So that's what we're expecting on Saturday."

Do you think four games in nine days is a fair schedule for players?

"It's fairly tough but this is where the squad comes into play. People have been talking about a winter break for many a year now and I know a lot of other countries seem to do it. It would be nice to get the sun on your back around this time of year, but I think the fans enjoy the games over the Christmas period. It's tough going but it could be worse."

Do you think a winter break would work in the Premiership?

"It'll probably come in when I finally retire! I think it's a good idea for players to recharge their batteries and rest any niggling injuries they may have and I think it'll come into play over the next year or two. It might be just too late for me but we'll see what happens!"

Finally, how do you look back on the year of 2004. Would you say it's been
a year in which the team have underachieved?

"I think the manager always looks back on a season in terms of trophies and if we've got any sort of silverware then it's been a decent season. I would agree with that to a degree but we're hoping to do better in the Champions League this season and also in the Premiership as well. It was nice to have won the FA Cup last season but hopefully we can add to that this year."