Former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane has defended his right to criticise the Red Devils following their Champions League exit earlier this month.

Keane, working as a pundit for ITV, felt United had "got what they deserved" when they were knocked out by Basle, comments which did not go down well with manager Alex Ferguson.

The Scot questioned Keane's own managerial record in the aftermath of the game, saying "(Roy) had an opportunity to prove himself as a manager too. It is a difficult job" while he also talked in his programme notes before last weekend's game against Wolves about criticism of the club coming "even from people we thought were perhaps on our side".

Keane told the Sunday Times: "If you want to question my managerial record, listen, you could question every pundit's managerial skill in relation to (Ferguson's) and we're all going to come up short.

"But I would also say that without players like myself, maybe he wouldn't have such a good managerial record because players who go down the punditry road, it's soon forgotten that we put bodies on the line for him."

Keane also accused Ferguson of failing to stand by him following his abrupt exit from the club in 2005.

"People say he stood by me in difficult times," the Cork man added.

"But he didn't when I was 34, not when I was towards the end and had a few differences with (former United assistant boss) Carlos Queiroz. All of a sudden then, 'Off you go, Roy, and here's the statement we've done."'