Rovers were leading 1-0 at the break but it could have been more as the home side dominated proceedings and missed several good chances to increase their lead.
Keane was fuming with his players and after reading the riot act at half time, the Black Cats came out and won the game thanks to goals from Kenwyne Jones and Cisse.
"I can't really tell you what was said because that's between the players and the manager. But it was good for us. It gave us a boost," Cisse said of the situation.
"He got me a bit annoyed and I wanted to show him that I can score goals and work hard. He found the right words at half-time."
Meanwhile, Cisse says he was not affected by the rumours ahead of the game that Keane had quit the club, although he admits some of the players had been discussing the situation.
He added to the Sunderland Echo: "Some of the players talked about the rumours that the boss was quitting. I don't really have any interest in those sort of rumours.
"Roy Keane is really important to that plan. He is someone with a lot of passion, a lot of desire to achieve great things for the club. He's a great model for a manager. He played at the top level. He knows how players work and think."