Coleman questions Keane's theory

CHRIS Coleman has rejected Roy Keane's assertion that any half-decent manger could finish mid-table in the Championship.

Derek Davis

CHRIS Coleman has rejected Roy Keane's assertion that any half-decent manger could finish mid-table in the Championship.

Keane made the comment when he was explaining that he regarded not getting Ipswich Town promoted inside two years would be a failure.

But Coleman, who finished 18th with City last season, said: “I can't agree with that. There are a lot of decent managers, who know this league well, who won't get their team into the top half.

“This is a hard league; some big clubs coming down, some good teams coming up.

“Roy did a great job at Sunderland to get them out of this league but he spent five or six million quid to do that.

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“I don't know how much he's got to spend at Ipswich, but I don't think it's as easy as that.”

Coleman, who is under-fire by a section of his own fans, insists he won't be intimidated by the presence of the Ipswich Town boss.

He said: “I don't pay too much attention to the manager in the opposite dug-out. I respect Roy Keane - of course I do- but I respect anybody who's brave enough to do this because it's a very tough job.

“I don't fear anybody because I've got confidence in my ability to do the job.”

Coleman is ready for whatever Keane throws at his side tomorrow.

“Ipswich have been playing 4-3-3 in pre-season. Now he's bought Priskin I expect he'll play him with Jon Stead in a 4-4-2 but I don't know what Roy's got planned and we'll have to cover for every eventuality.

“Whatever formation he plays it's going to be a hard game, but we'll concentrate on ourselves. The first game is always frantic.”

The Sky Blues faithful are not totally enamoured at what is going on at the Ricoh arena and that, coupled with the lunchtime kick off, could mean a small crowd.

Coleman said: “However many fans turn up for the game I hope they get behind the team.

“If they're frustrated about anything they can have a go at me - I'll be down in the dug-out and I'm a big boy - or even at the chairman but not the players.

“Let us get behind the players and give them a chance.

“It's hard enough playing against the opposition; you don't want to be playing against your own supporters.”

The arrival of 18-year-old on-loan Chelsea defender Patrick van Aanholt yesterday has taken Coleman's summer signings to three.

The Coventry City boss lost three key players with Scott Danns moving to Birmingham City, Daniel Fox to Celtic and Robbie Simpson to Huddersfield, bringing in around �5.3m in total, while Michael Doyle moved to Leeds on loan earlier in the week.

In came Michael McIndoe from Bristol City while Sammy Clingan signed from relegated Norwich City for �650,000.

A surprise inclusion tomorrow is likely to be midfielder David Bell who has not needed surgery on an ankle as expected and is now expected to play.

Ipswich Town squad: R Wright, Supple, D Wright, Bruce, McAuley, Balkestein, Delaney, Smith, Peters, Garvan, Colback, Trotter, Walters, Norris, Martin, Quinn, Wickham, Stead, Priskin.

Coventry City: Westwood, Konstantopoulos, Osbourne, Wright, Turner, van Aanholt, Grandison, Bell, Cain, Walker, Clarke, Gunnarsson, Clingan, McIndoe, Best, Morrison, Eastwood. Jeffers.

Referee: Russell Booth (Notts)