Clegg - players only have themselves to blame for criticism

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues chief executive Simon Clegg believes that Roy Keane’s players only have themselves to blame for the criticism they received during last weekend’s home 3-1 defeat by Barnsley.

“Last Saturday’s game was the most disappointing performance since I joined the club,” said Clegg.

“And fans are entitled to their opinion.

“We should never forget the fact that supporters are our customers, they’re the people that week-in week-out are paying out of their own pockets to allow us to operate in the way we do.

“I know that the players were disappointed with the reaction of the fans last Saturday, but they equally recognise they’ve only got themselves to blame for that.”

Keane’s relationship with Town fans is currently rather fraught after his heavy criticism of them following the booing aimed at himself and also cheering for Barnsley.

But he is still flavour of the month with the Town hierarchy with Clegg again confirming the faith the club has in their manager’s ability.

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“We are committed to Roy, who is taking us to where we want to get to,” said Clegg.

“If you had offered us that back in August to be where we are now people would have bitten your hand off.”

Keane became Town boss in April 2009 and has been set the task of taking the Suffolk side back into the Premier League.

His contract is due to expire in the summer and Clegg repeated that there is no rush to agree a new deal.

“Owner Marcus Evans and I are speaking on a regular basis, Roy is aware of what his and our expectations are this season.

“At this particular moment in time there’s no defined line in the sand, it’s a fluid situation.”

Keane has hit out at Republic of Ireland officials after defender Darren O’Dea came back from international duty in midweek with a hamstring problem that makes him a doubt for today’s game at Hull City (kick-off 3pm).

“They were unprofessional to let Darren play for 67 minutes in the friendly against Norway on Wednesday,” stormed Keane.

“I made a request for him to play 45 minutes, which would have been ideal.

“It was either that or playing for an hour in a friendly against a young Norwich side on Tuesday.

“I did not want to begrudge one of my players a cap, but there was a complete disregard for what we asked.

“It was a ridiculous way to treat a player on a heavy pitch who had not played for six weeks after a serious knee operation.

“I was watching the game on TV and could not believe when Darren came out for the second half.

“He has come back with a tight hamstring and is a doubt for today’s game.”

Former Town player Noel Parkinson is to launch at today’s game a new sponsorship scheme that enables fans to earn money for Hull City when they sell their cars on an internet site.

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