Keane admits his first year mistakes

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues boss Roy Keane today admitted he may have taken his foot off the pedal in his first season in charge at Portman Road.

“Maybe we just thought it would happen,” he said.

Keane leads Town into Championship action against title winners Newcastle United at St James Park tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) well aware that a big improvement is necessary if he is to lead Ipswich to the Premier League before his current contract runs out in June 2011.

This time last year, Keane was about to manage Town for the first time in the 3-0 victory at Cardiff City.

“Hopefully I’m a better manager for the experience of the last year, as are the players and the staff,” said Keane in an honest assessment of the last 12 months.

“We have all been given the benefit of doubt for all the setbacks.

“Maybe we just thought it would happen because we had finished last season okay, winning the last few games.

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“We will be under no illusions this summer about how hard it’s going to be.”

Keane also admits that he should have altered his squad more radically last close season as he was settling in to life in rural Suffolk.

“I probably should have made more changes last summer,” said Keane, who is on the radar to be the new Celtic manager.

“I think we lacked some experienced players through the spine of our team.

“We didn’t have players who could say - shut us shop. And this lost us a lot of points earlier in the season.

“We just needed to be a bit more street-wise.

“Frustration has been the word all season.

“We’re not bad enough to be beaten, but not good enough to win many matches.

“We haven’t had enough quality to finish games off, especially when we’ve been 1-0 up.”

Keane says Town should have made life a lot simpler, going on:

“When we’re a goal up, we need to shut up shop and take the 1-0’s even when we’re having an off day.

“It’s as simple as that.”

“I’ve learnt that there is a lot of hard work ahead. The start of last season certainly set us back, giving us a massive mountain to climb, which we haven’t been able to do.

“The second half of the season has been much better, as we’d have hoped and expected.”

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