Keane calls in sports psychologist

ROY Keane has recently recruited a sports psychologist in a bid to toughen up the mental strength of his players. Keane revealed, during yesterday’s press conference, that he had hired a psychologist in a bid to rediscover that winning habit, in the rough-and-tumble of the Championship.

ROY Keane has recently recruited a sports psychologist in a bid to toughen up the mental strength of his players.

Keane revealed, during yesterday’s press conference, that he had hired a psychologist in a bid to rediscover that winning habit, in the rough-and-tumble of the Championship.

Town have dropped to 17th in the table, on the back of five straight league defeats, so Keane is pulling out all the stops to try and get his side’s season back on track, as well as safeguarding his own future at Portman Road.

His players will certainly have to be mentally tough, as well as physically strong, to deal with the challenge of trying to overcome basement dwellers Preston, who themselves are desperate for points, at Deepdale tomorrow.

“We have brought in a sports psychologist,” confirmed Keane.

“We had someone in maybe two or three weeks ago, and we did the same last year.

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“It’s not because of the run of results we are on, because we tried to do it earlier in the season when we had a decent start.

“We try all sorts, to try to help the players. It’s not just a physical challenge, I think the Championship can be a mental challenge. Ultimately, though, it comes down to the player.”

Keane knows that his side have to start winning games again, and quickly, because otherwise the players’ confidence and morale will naturally take a battering.

“It can be a mental issue, because it becomes a habit,” continued Keane.

“A lot of the problems last year, with all the draws, were that we got into winning positions but couldn’t quite get over the finishing line.

“Now we’re on the back of a few defeats, and sometimes it can be a confidence thing where you can’t see where a win is coming from.

“So you look at every angle that you can to help the players,” added Keane, whose side let another lead slip to lose 3-1 to visiting Swansea.

Keane was frustrated in his wish to sign “more streetwise” players last summer, but at least one of his more experienced players, skipper David Norris, will return at Preston. Norris missed the Swansea defeat due to a virus.

“Chuck (Norris) is fit again. We missed him last weekend,” said Keane.

“You need those two or three experienced players where, in certain stages of the game when the momentum is changing, they can slow things down. We don’t see

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