Coventry will welcome us with open arms - Keane

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane says that Coventry City will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of facing the Blues in the Championship at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

The Sky Blues have lost their last three games including two over the Christmas holiday at Cardiff and at home to QPR.

“They will be looking to bounce back and will welcome us with open arms,” said Keane.

“They faced two tough matches over the Christmas period and will be rubbing their hands at facing us.

“Coventry have a great deal of experience and are physically strong with two players up front who gave us trouble in our home match against them,

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“They are street wise and I watched their game against leaders QPR and they were not far off.”

Keane does not think that having the last two games called off because of ice and snow will necessarily benefit his team, adding: “It was not ideal although perhaps we would have taken one postponement.

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“But that’s the way it goes and on the plus side we were able to give recovering players like Connor Wickham and Gareth McAuley time on the training ground.”

Keane would surely have liked to have kept an unchanged side after the 3-0 walloping of Leicester City on December 18, but Shane O’Connor has damaged his shoulder and loanee Gianni Zuiverloon has been recalled by his parent club West Brom.

Town go into the half-way point of the campaign with Wickham a doubt after suffering a reaction after making his comeback against Leicester and Luke Hyam having suffered a set back to his hamstring problem.

McAuley could come into contention for the FA Cup game at Chelsea on January 9 and will certainly not travel to face a Coventry side looking for their first double of the season after a 2-1 win on October 16 at Portman Road.

Aron Gunnarsson will be serving the third of his three-match ban after being sent off against Norwich while Gary McSheffrey picked up his fifth booking against QPR and is suspended.

Canaries old boy David Bell filled the right-sided position against Rangers, with the now fit again Freddy Eastwood and Carl Baker in contention to take McSheffrey’s place on the left.

Baker is a more natural wide man, but Eastwood has played in that position and offers more of a goal threat.

Stephen O’Halloran joined from Aston Villa during the summer but injured his back in pre-season and finally made his debut as a substitute on Tuesday.

Martin Cranie and Richard Wood, both centre-halves, have been filling in at left-back and there is a chance O’Halloran could make his full debut.

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