Ipswich players on ‘eggshells’ - claims Walters

FORMER Ipswich Town captain Jon Walters has claimed his ex-team-mates are walking on “eggshells” around Roy Keane and that popular players like Owen Garvan never stood a chance under the Irishman.

The one-time fans’ favourite has launched a stinging attack on his former boss – the second outburst since Walters joined Premiership Stoke City for �2.75million in August.

In the fresh tirade, Walters questioned the decision to let go of respected backroom staff Bryan Klug and Charlie Woods, and revealed he has shared war stories about Keane with Stoke’s contingent of ex-Sunderland players.

The comments once again forced Town chief executive, Simon Clegg, to repeat his support for Keane while giving Walters’ fresh comments short shrift.

Clegg said: “Jon Walters was a great servant for the club but my focus is on supporting the manager and players deliver on the pitch. The results of this season speak louder than the words of players who played last year.”

The majority of supporters have quickly come to vilify a player who they once admired for his non-stop, all-action performances.

But the latest attack, which comes after Walters’ unsavoury exit from the club and subsequent allegations about why he missed the Carling Cup win at Exeter, will raise some concerns among the Portman Road faithful.

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And it is Keane’s alleged dealings with Klug, Woods and Garvan, who scored twice for new club Crystal Palace in their 3-2 win against Watford on Tuesday night, which could sit most uncomfortably.

Walters said: “He (Garvan) didn’t get much of a chance and when he did, he got an earful all the time.

“Bryan had been at the club for probably 20 to 25 years and there was Charlie Woods. Good coaches and good people to have around who were all let go for one reason or another under Roy.

“That was disappointing. They were good people to work for and part of what the club is about.

“Ipswich means so much to everyone in the town. When they got let go . . . that was Roy’s decision.”

As well as sharing Keane-related stories with new team-mates at Stoke, Walters admitted he remained in contact with his old team-mates in Suffolk.

Walters added: “Even now I speak to the lads at Ipswich and when they get beat, we know what’s been said before we even speak to anyone. It’s eggshells all the time.”

* Sour grapes or cause for concern? Tell us what you think about Jon Walters’ comments at sport@eadt.co.uk

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