Hat’s off to Town youngsters

IPSWICH TOWN: Take a bow the young men of Portman Road.

They were today the subject of praise by Blues manager Roy Keane, and not just for what they have achieved on the pitch this season.

Town had two teenagers in their side for the 2-1 victory at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United at the weekend with another five on the bench.

And they have been one of the big pluses of the campaign according to Keane, who is expected to keep a youthful feel to his squad for tonight’s visit of Derby County to Portman Road (kick-off 7.45pm) for a npower Championship fixture.

“Hat’s off to our youngsters,” said Keane.

“They have all done well on the pitch for me, and just as importantly they have handled themselves well.

“They all have good heads on them.

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“The ones who have been given an opportunity have all handled it well.

“And when they have been left out they have handled that well as well.

“When I was 18 and 19 I just wanted to play football, and these lads are the same and they are putting pressure on our more experienced players.”

Keane went through the lads who have served him well and could not hide a glow of satisfaction having given them all a chance to make the grade.

Tom Eastman, Luke Hyam, Connor Wickham, Ronan Murray, Reggie Lambe and James Griffiths, who has a little taste, were all warmly applauded by Keane plus those a little older like Tommy Smith, Troy Brown, and loanees Jake Livermore, Andros Townsend and Jack Colback.

Looking ahead to tonight’s match, Keane said: “It should be a cracking game and possible the best atmosphere we’ve had in the ground this season.

“I’m really looking forward to it and we know we have to be at our best to beat them.

“And hopefully it will be just as tough for them.

“Derby have plenty of experience and in Robbie Savage and Kris Commons have players that manager Nigel Clough has wisely held on to when asked to make cuts because of financial considerations.

“Nigel’s team scores goals and has a great deal of energy. He has an excellent mix in his squad.”

Tickets are on sale for Town’s Carling Cup quarter-final against WBA at Portman Road on December 1.

Prices for season ticket holders are �20 adults, �15 concessions, students and under-20s, and �5 Under-16’s. Non-season ticket holders’ prices are �25 adults, �17 concessions, students and under-20s, and �7 Under-16s.

Prices on the day rise to �28 for adults, �19 for concessions, students and under-20s, and �8 for under-16s.

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