Sunderland boss Roy Keane has made light of comments from new signing Dwight Yorke that he was "devastated" not to have stayed with Sydney FC.
Yorke captained Sydney to the A-League title this year
Yorke, 34, joined Sunderland last week after cash-strapped Sydney decided against offering him a new deal.
But Keane said Yorke's comments had been taken out of context.
"It's the way they want to spin things. From the first time I spoke to Dwight everything's been positive," Keane told the club's official website.
"I'm sure he was very happy in Sydney, he enjoyed it, of course he did, but he wanted to come back here for a new challenge and it's credit to Sunderland that we have signed him.
"I know for a fact that he has had one or two offers over the summer, it's great that he is here.
"Dwight's a character, let me tell you, and that is what you need.
"It's not just about what players bring to the pitch and the training pitch. It's about the dressing room as well.
"You've got to have a good dressing room - a bubbly, happy dressing room. Results have not been great and hopefully one or two of the new lads will lift the other players."
Yorke, a former Manchester United team-mate of Keane, had been quoted in the Sydney Daily Telegraph as saying he did not want to leave Australia.
"I'm absolutely gutted to say the least, I'm devastated," he said.
"Even if I got a call from someone at the last minute - then I think there and then that I would have stayed."