Doing it Sir Bobby’s way
IPSWICH TOWN: ‘We’re on course’ is the message today from Blues manager Roy Keane.
He leads his side into Championship action against Derby County at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) happy with the progress he’s made over the last 12 months.
And he says if similar advancement is made over the next year he’ll be happy.
When the Rams last visited Suffolk they were beaten by a magnificent David Wright header as Town recorded their opening league win of the season.
That was in late October, and Ipswich have not sunk to those depths since securing a mid-table position and beginning this season in promising style holding a top six position going in to tonight’s game.
Keane, whose contract runs out next summer but with talks set to start on a possible extension, said today: “I’ll be happy if we continue to make the same progress over the next 12 months as we have in the last year.
“I have to give credit to my players, but we were all new to the club last season staff as well and there were lots of chopping and changing.
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“We are stronger now and know where we are at with much more competition for places.
“The team is more settled and we are looking fitter.
“We are also mentally tougher, which I think was proved in our win at Sheffield United at the weekend a game that we could have lost last season.
“Confidence has been improved on the back of a few wins.
“I’m reading Sir Bobby Robson’s book on his time at Ipswich and he says you need three years to build a club.
“Nigel Clough has benefitted as well at Derby having intelligent people around who appreciate that things do not happen overnight.
“Dave Jones at Cardiff has taken six years and probably thinks he is ready for the Premier League now.”
Keane had praise for his loanees after revealing that he was surprised at the summer departures of former skipper Jon Walters and striker Jon Stead.
“I anticipated some of the players going who left in the summer, but both the Jon’s surprised me after we received good offers,” added Keane.
“Our loan players have come in and done well and full marks as well to our talented collection of youngsters.”