Keane confirms Walters blow

SKIPPER Jon Walters is set to miss Ipswich Town's next few games, due to a hamstring injury.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

SKIPPER Jon Walters is set to miss Ipswich Town's next few games, due to a hamstring injury.

Front-runner Walters, who has only sat out one game all season, due to a one-match suspension, tweaked his hamstring during the first half of the FA Cup defeat at Southampton.

The 26-year-old was substituted at half-time, and now faces a spell on the treatment table rather than on the training pitch.

Town boss Roy Keane confirmed: "Jon (Walters) has a hamstring injury, and no doubt he will miss a number of games.

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"It was very sore, and we missed him in the second half. We'll have to see how he is on Monday."

It is no coincidence that Town's only league defeat, in the last 14 fixtures, was when Walters was suspended for the Boxing Day reverse at Crystal Palace.

Hopefully, Keane's men will cope better without their skipper for tomorrow evening's home match against high-flying West Brom.

"I'll be looking for a reaction on Tuesday night. We did not really step up to the plate this afternoon," explained Keane.

"The performance was not bad. I don't think we did enough to win the game, but we didn't do enough to lose it.

"Their first goal was a wonder strike, but we perhaps became a bit ragged in the second half.

"We finished strongly, but then it's very easy to play when you're 2-0 down. I need them to perform at 0-0. In the end, it was too little, too late.

"This was a good opportunity for a cup run, which we have let slip by. But we'll lick our wounds and pick ourselves up for the next game.

We've been on a decent run, and I'm not too disappointed with the performance today.

"West Brom beat us earlier in the season, but I think we are a lot better now. They have a lot of pace in their team, and are very dangerous, particularly away from home."

Keane made just one change to his starting line-up at Southampton, choosing to rest midfielder David Norris, and recall Carlos Edwards on the wing.

The Irishman explained: "I didn't play David Norris, but then I had no problem with my starting line-up. I never take anything for granted. I don't work that way, trying to be too clever," added Keane.