Jim could seal Roy's fate

IT will be a cruel twist of fate if his predecessor, Jim Magilton, was the man to ultimately end the reign of Roy Keane.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

IT will be a cruel twist of fate if his predecessor, Jim Magilton, was the man to ultimately end the reign of Roy Keane.

Plain-speaking Keane has made it clear that he needs to turn around Town's fortunes over the next six weeks, if he wants to keep his job.

Six weeks down the line takes us into the new year, but the last fixture in that designated period just happens to mark the return of Magilton to Portman Road - Town entertain QPR on December 28.

If Town are still stuck in the relegation zone both before and after the visit of QPR, then the odds are against Keane still being in charge for the next Championship fixture, a trip to high-flying Leicester City on January 9.

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For the moment, the Irishman still enjoys the backing of his chairman and club owner, Marcus Evans, as well as the bulk of Town's supporters.

That's a big reason why the number of departed managers this season is 17, and not 18!

Colin Kriedewolf, who is secretary of the Independent Supporters Association, believes that Keane still has the support of the fans.

“I was surprised to hear that Roy Keane has given himself six weeks, because putting a time-line on it increases the pressure on him,” said Kriedewolf last night.

“But maybe he has already been in consultation with Marcus Evans about this issue.

“Most supporters are still behind him, though we are frustrated that the club is not progressing as much as it should.

“Some of the tactics used have also frustrated me at times, like when I saw the team-sheet for the last game (against Sheffield Wednesday) and seeing that we were playing just one up front and Lee Martin playing behind him, a position he has not played for us before.

“I thought we were beginning to show more consistency in terms of team selection before that game.

“But I supported Roy Keane's appointment back in April, and I still do.

“I think we should remember what happened (in a similar position) 35 years ago. If Sir Bobby Robson had been given the sack, then look what we would have been giving up?

“If we are still in the bottom three at the end of the year, then under the previous regime Roy would still have been given more time, but with Marcus Evans, who knows? I don't think he is the sort of man who will tolerate failure for too long,” added Kriedewolf.

It's difficult to see Town scrambling out of the bottom three over the next 10 days. They are already four points adrift of safety, and they face tricky trips to Cardiff and Bristol City in their next two games.

The most crucial games during this six-week spell would seem to be the back-to-back home fixtures against bottom club Peterborough and surprise package Blackpool on December 8 and December 12 respectively.