Keane admits that he can be demanding

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane today took his hat off to his players as they prepared for tonight’s npower Championship game against bogey club Watford at Vicarage Road (kick-off 7.45pm).

“They have to put up with me and I can be quite demanding,” said Keane.

“Yet they are all doing very well.

“I may have had a little word – just a little one – after Saturday’s defeat against Coventry, but I had one of my best Sundays for years. I was relaxed and it was brilliant.”

Keane was criticised for his tactics on Saturday, but the 4-1-4-1 formation has brought the club plenty of success this term, and the lack of David Norris moving forward into the penalty area led to a lack of punch in the opening period against the Sky Blues.

Keane has a chance to show how much his team has improved after locking them in the changing room for an hour after last Spring’s 2-1 defeat at Vicarage Road.

“We were not good when we last played at Watford, but we have improved since – being in the top six and having a Carling Cup fourth round match to look forward to.

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“The players are doing well every and I feel lucky to be working with them – and they’re having a good go.”

“We are not set in our ways over tactics and like all managers I can get it wrong.”

When asked if his current job was proving harder than at Sunderland where he took the Black Cats to the Premier League at the first attempt, and kept them there the following season, Keane went on:

“I’m not saying I’m a mug at this job, but I haven’t got 20 years experience at the highest level. This job is different in terms of the situation and dynamics that at the Stadium of Light.”

And when asked if he feared the consequences of losing tonight and at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and slipping down to the bottom half of the table, Keane replied:

“Don’t let’s be worried, what if we win both games? Trust us; we will be doing our best.

“But we have to become hard to beat again, which we weren’t on Saturday.”

With Mark Kennedy out for three weeks with a hamstring problem, Shane O’Connor, Tommy Smith – with Damien Delaney playing as a central defender – or new signing Jack Colback could fill the left back role.

“Left back has been a problem since I come to the club, but we just have to get on with it,” added Keane.

“And the absence of Darren O’Dea through injury should not be under estimated.

“I’ll look at the players this morning before we leave for Watford and then sort out my side.”

Keane had time for a word on the Wayne Rooney situation and his reported rift with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Players fall out with managers all the while, and my advice to Wayne – who is a good lad – is to look after number one.

“Players are treated like pieces of meat.

“Jon Walters and I had words but he is now as happy as Larry at Stoke I’m sure, and we after happy without him”

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