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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Davis backs Keane
Roy Keane
Keane will get the backing of his team-mates

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis has backed Roy Keane to return to football a better player and a stronger person.

Keane was handed a five-match ban and a record 150,000 fine for bringing the game into disrepute.

Davis found himself in a similar position in 1988 when he was banned for nine games and fined a then-record 3,000 for breaking the jaw of Southampton's Glen Cockerill.


He doesn't seem like the sort of character that needs a great deal of support
Paul Davis

He overcame the setback to help Arsenal to the English title in 1989 and 1991 and he had encouraging words for the under-fire Manchester United skipper.

"I think these kind of things will make somebody like him even more determined to do well for his club," Davis told BBC Sport Online.

"I think he will come back a better player and a better person perhaps.

"I don't think it will change him immensely but it will make him more determined to do well for Manchester United I'm sure."

Davis said Keane, who is recovering from a hip operation, will probably find the time away from the game difficult to handle.

"It is frustrating to be out for that length of time," he added. "Especially if you are in a successful side.

"You do feel down, but after a while you come to terms with it and you get through it.

"I didn't go down to the games, it was easier for me to deal with that way. But everybody deals with it in their own way.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis with the English title
Davis was a title winner with Arsenal

"The players stuck by me and I felt they were with me all the way, and the club and management were as well.

"I think everybody will gather round and give him the support if he needs it." Despite enjoying a successful 16-year career with the Gunners, Davis is often remembered for his indiscretion.

"Having won quite a few things in the English league it does kind of grate a little bit when that's the first thing people remind you of," he added.

"But that's the way it is and you can't really change that so you learn to live with it.

"Whether the same thing will happen with Keane I'm not sure. He's already done a lot in his career."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Paul Davis
"I think he will come back a better player"
 VOTE RESULTS
Is Roy Keane's punishment just?

Too harsh
 18.10% 

Fair
 16.44% 

Too lenient
 65.46% 

30429 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Roy Keane faces a three-match suspension for his red card at Sunderland

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13 Aug 02 | Football
15 Oct 02 | Man Utd
31 Aug 02 | Man Utd
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