Holland says Keane right over Connor

IPSWICH TOWN: Former Blues skipper Matt Holland can understand why manager Roy Keane gave striker Jason Scotland a slap on the wrists this week.

IPSWICH TOWN: Former Blues skipper Matt Holland can understand why manager Roy Keane gave striker Jason Scotland a slap on the wrists this week.

Scotland was asked his opinion of 17-year-old Wickham’s prowess and was elegant and forthright in his praise tipping the teenager for international honours and marking him out as a prime target for the top clubs in the Premier League.

“Jason should stick to his own game,” roared Keane. “He’s not Connor’s agent.”

And the canny Holland, who watched Town lose 3-0 at home to Queens Park Rangers last week, can understand where his former Republic of Ireland international colleague is coming from.

“Roy’s outburst did not surprise me,” said Holland.

“He’s made it clear that he wants to deflate the hype surrounding his star teenager.

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“Firstly he wants to keep Connor grounded and secondly he doesn’t want other clubs to know too much about him.”

Holland, whose local late night Monday night TV show is due to return in the New Year, recalled the incident last season when Wickham’s name was kept off an FA Youth Cup team sheet although he subsequently started the match at Barnett against Arsenal.

“Scouts saw the team sheet, and turned round and headed off home,” added Holland.

“I wouldn’t like to have been in Jason Scotland’s shoes on Monday.”

Jake Livermore’s loan arrival from Tottenham this week has stoked the flames to the simmering story that Wickham will end up at Spurs within the year as Harry Redknapp ‘butters up’ the Blues with the loaning of the midfielder on top of Andros Townsend.

The Londoners are clear favourites in any race that might or might not be going on for Wickham.

And the astute Holland has zoomed in to acknowledge that Keane is continuing to do all he can to keep the England Under-17 European Championship winner happy and on full power at Portman Road.

But if money eventually has to talk then Redknapp could well have the last laugh.

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