Big night for kids in front of Keane

IPSWICH TOWN: Tonight could be D-Day for a number of Blues youngsters when Peterborough visit Portman Road in the third round of the FA Youth Cup (kick-off 7pm).

Manager Roy Keane will take his place in the directors’ box and take a keen interest in the displays of final year scholars like Josh Carson, Caolan Lavery and Josh Meekings.

Keane does not get many opportunities to watch the club’s Under-18’s in action, and he will make the most of the night with a view to deciding who do give professional contracts to next summer.

“Our lads have a chance to impress the manager,” said Sammy Morgan, who is head of the Town academy.

“The team that will face Peterborough will be mainly first year boys, but for second years like the two Josh’s and Caolan it is a game that could mean a great deal.

“They will form the backbone of the team and steady the ship if necessary.

“They saw the manager take on eight boys from the scholarship scheme last summer and most have had an opportunity with Luke Hyam, Tom Eastman and Ronan Murray becoming regulars in the first team squad.

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“This will act as a huge incentive to the lads on duty against Peterborough.”

Morgan took his players to watch Peterborough beat Stratford Town 5-0 in the previous round and says they will know what to expect. He did the same last season when Town beat Arsenal before going out at home to Fulham in the fifth round.

“The lads know what they are up against and we know it will be a difficult game,” added Morgan.

Ipswich let Josh Capocci and Nathan Ralph go when they reached 16 and they are expected to be in the Posh side.

“I’m sure they will be looking to show us that we made a mistake,” added Morgan.

“They are both good lads and of course you always hope that youngsters will do well elsewhere and we wish them well in their careers.

“Our lads are a decent bunch and they will be giving their all and will appreciate the support that will receive.”

Connor Wickham is still eligible to play at only 17 but the striker is not expected to be involved.

Ipswich are still not commenting on reports that Under-18 coach Mike Pejic has been suspended although Morgan is expected to take charge of the side tonight.

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