Keane admits that young players have to improve

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane has admitted that the club’s youth team players need to do better. They went out of the FA Youth Cup at their first hurdle and are third from bottom in their league table.

“They need to do better,” said Keane, who watched the game from the Portman Road directors’ box two weeks ago.

“It was a lessen for them that have to learn from.

“The academy has been left disappointed and they gave too little too late when they came back towards the end but still lost 3-2.”

But Keane said the poor display has to be taken into context, adding:

“You have to look at the bigger picture and as long as three or four from that year progress through to the first team scene then we have to be happy.

“To be fair to the players it was a young team with a number of first year scholars and those 12 months make a big difference.”

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If club owner Marcus Evans continues to put restrictions on Keane’s player budget, the Blues will have to depend more and more on producing their own talent.

The postponement of the match against Fulham has left Blues’ Under-18’s with one more fixture before the Christmas break against Southampton away on Saturday.

With a traumatic first half of the season both on and off the pitch behind them,Town will be hoping that the New Year will enable them to field something like their strongest side on a regular basis.

Long term injuries to senior players Callum Bennett, Nici Schroder, Cormac Burke and others has meant that some very young sides have been fielded with mixed results.

And striker Caolan Lavery is set to be out for six weeks after suffering a knee injury in the defeat to Peterborough United two weeks ago.

Excellent results against West Ham, Charlton and Chelsea were the high points whereas a heavy defeat at Wolves on the opening day of the season and the exit from the FA Youth Cup were days to forget.

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