‘I’ve got to get Ipswich back in shape,’ Keane

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane has revealed that he expected much more from his players last season.

To such an extent that he was able to relax last summer and go away without any undue concerns.

But this pre-season is different, and Blues manager Keane says that he has some vital summer work to complete.

“Of course there is a winding down because there are no games to prepare for,” said Keane.

“There is not the intensity.

“But there is much work to do this summer – unlike 12 months ago when I thought the signs were okay and I was able to go away.

“I have got to get the club back in shape and I can’t afford to switch off this time around.”

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Having overseen the worst start to any season in the club’s history and finished in a disappointing 15th Championship place, Keane has never hidden from the fact that it was a bad first year for him at Portman Road.

And he admits that he made mistakes.

“It’s a relief when managers with 30 years experience own up to still making mistakes,” Keane told Ipswich Player.

“I made some – of course I did – and I am looking to learn from them.”

Before the start of the 2009/10 campaign, Keane said that anything less than a top six finish would be a failure.

And he’s saying the same this time around in anticipation of strengthening his squad with three or four key players that will provide the ‘character’ he is looking for.

“I know what is expected,” he said.

“It’s competing in the top six. I’ve heard people mention mid-table.

“It’s got to be the top six. Anything else is not acceptable.”

And referring back to this time last year he went on: “There were expectations that we would be up there challenging for promotion when I arrived at the club.

“That’s what Ipswich Town should be aiming for.

“Players have to deal with those expectations, just like managers do. I’d rather aim the bar high and go for it.

“We came up short last season though, particularly at the start and there will be no room for error next year.

“I keep saying I live in the real world. Having another poor start or repeating the mistakes we made last year won’t be tolerated.”

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