Keane can knock knockers by beating Leeds

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane has a chance tomorrow to answer his knockers by ramming their criticism back down their throats.

Victory over Leeds United at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) will see his Blues move back into the top three of the npower Championship.

He has his players giving their all, is producing talented youngsters and has taken his team to the brink of the Carling Cup quarter-finals.

His lot with Town supporters is almost as high now as it was when he arrived at Portman Road despite a disappointing opening season in the job.

Yet he still gets a bad press in some quarters.

Motor mouth Piers Morgan may be a hit on TV hit ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ but he is no lover of Keane and had another go in his weekly Sunday newspaper column last weekend.

Keane will not care a monkeys - this is part of his allure; the Irishman’s brashness being an integral part of his ‘appeal’.

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Morgan slated Keane over his recent comments towards striker Jason Scotland and is another example of those keen to jump on the bandwagon and give the Irishman a hard time.

Keane got the most out of his immense footballing talent and then turned to management to lead Sunderland to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Okay, Keane’s man management style might have scared a few players away from Portman Road. He might be someone who keeps all but family and close friends at arm’s length.

But he has managed to sieve the wheat from the chaff and after losing just two of their opening 12 games who would argue that his current squad do not stand a great chance of success this season?

Morgan and his kind would, but more importantly Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans wouldn’t and Keane has it in him to ensure that Morgan does not have the last laugh.

A defeat tomorrow however against a Leeds side that may be stunned into action after their embarrassing home 6-4 reverse against Preston on Tuesday and another mid-table season might look on the cards.

But a win and 18 points from the opening 10 league matches and Ipswich will be on course for a play-off place at least by the end of the campaign.

A niggling back injury could deny Tommy Smith two more New Zealand caps with All-Whites coach Ricki Herbert aware that the 20-year-old defender has a problem prior to home friendlies against Honduras in Auckland on Saturday October 9 and Paraguay in Wellington the following Tuesday.

Keane will not want Smith travelling to the other side of the world – with two 26 hour flights – if there is a danger of the injury being worsened.

Smith, who gained tremendously from his 100% appearance for New Zealand in last summer’s World Cup, will be assessed after tomorrow’s match after sitting out Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Reading.

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