Keane can handle the pressure

PORTMAN Road is like a pressure cooker at the moment.

PORTMAN Road is like a pressure cooker at the moment.

Yet all this pressure can be released, in one fell swoop, if Roy Keane can mastermind a victory over Norwich City in next Sunday’s East Anglian derby.

Keane thrives on pressure, and that’s just as well because his side are sliding down the Championship table on the back of three successive defeats.

In fact, Saturday’s dismal 1-0 defeat at Hull City was Town’s sixth defeat in their last eight league games.

“You can’t keep losing football matches because the pressure builds,” admitted Keane.

“The next one then becomes a must-win game, and sometimes you take silly gambles, but we want to be hard to beat next week.

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“Despite me talking a good game, you have to go out and do the business, and we haven’t done that.

“So the pressure builds, and the pressure builds to try and get the right result with the next game.

“It will be a long week, because it’s another defeat and a week is a long time in football.”

Asked whether he himself was feeling the heat, Keane remarked: “Pressure builds on everyone when you’re not winning football matches.

“As I keep saying, pressure builds from within. We’re disappointed ourselves.

“But next week is a game we want to win because we know that we’re dropping down the league as well. A derby game is always a good one to look forward to.”

Regardless of the opposition, next weekend was always going to be a massive test for Town, because they must arrest the slide quickly for two reasons - to keep in touch with the top six, and to preserve Keane’s job.

Norwich, who drew 1-1 at home to Leeds on Saturday, are currently level on points with sixth-placed Nottingham Forest. However Town, despite their dreadful run, are still only three points adrift of the Canaries.

“The next game is always the most important, and we know what it means to our supporters,” said Keane.

“I thought this (at Hull) was a good game for us, being away from home.

“But hopefully Norwich will be a good game for us to bounce back. It’s away from home and it’s a derby.

“But these games are hard to predict, and the form goes out of the window, which might be a good thing for us given our last three games.” added Keane.

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