“Don’t worry about me” - Keane

ROY Keane has a message for his players, ahead of tomorrow’s key contest at basement dwellers Preston - “don’t worry about my job.”

ROY Keane has a message for his players, ahead of tomorrow’s key contest at basement dwellers Preston - “don’t worry about my job.”

Keane wants his team to focus on the matter in hand, which is halting a dismal run of five straight league defeats, rather than be concerned with the precarious nature of his own position.

The Ipswich Town boss continues to enjoy the backing of owner and chairman, Marcus Evans, who seems prepared to let the Irishman have a fair crack at the whip in a bid to salvage the season.

Keane insisted: “The players shouldn’t be concerned with who the manager is next summer, or who the manager is next week.

“They’ve got to just get on with the job and focus on winning football matches.

“The important thing is for us to do our best on Saturday, whether I have a week left or a year left.

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“The problem is, because of my profile, people get bogged down by my position. We mustn’t get side-tracked by that, because we are trying to rebuild a football club.”

We live in an age of blame-culture, to the benefit of compensation lawyers, and yet Keane will only be blaming one person, if he is to lose his job - and that’s himself.

There will be no excuses if his two-year stay at Portman Road is to be cut short, or to just run its course without the offer of a new deal. Keane continued: I know that our league form is unacceptable.

“And if I left next week, I have no one to blame but myself.

“I wouldn’t blame Marcus Evans, I wouldn’t blame Simon Clegg, I wouldn’t blame the media, or the supporters, or my staff or the players. I would have no one to look at but myself. Simple as that. The rest is all excuses. You have to get the results.

“I’ve got to do a better job, or else I’ll be on the sidelines like other managers. If you don’t do the business, you suffer for it, and that’s what I will have to be ready for.

“But my contract doesn’t matter, that is the least of my worries,” added Keane.

The Town boss was hoping that Connor Wickham might return against Preston, following a thigh injury, but the teenage centre-forward will remain on the sidelines.

Injuries also continue to rule out defender Gareth McAuley, who will not play again this calendar year due to an Achilles tendon injury, and midfielder Luke Hyam (hamstring).

However, skipper David Norris is back to full health, after missing last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat by Swansea due to illness. He should lead the side out at Deepdale.

There is also a chance that experienced left-back Mark Kennedy might be involved, after only playing one of the last 11 matches due to a sore hamstring.

Keane might also make further changes to his defence and attack. Damien Delaney was surprisingly left out of the squad against Swansea, but could be recalled at centre-half.

And Rory Fallon, on loan from Plymouth, could make his full debut up front. Fellow strikers Jason Scotland and Tamas Priskin have both failed to hit the target in the last six games.

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