Keane: ‘Contract talks are least of my worries’

GAINING a new contract at Portman Road is the least of under pressure Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane’s worries.

He leads his side into Championship action at Preston today (kick-off 3pm) at a club already tipped as certainties for relegation in many quarters.

Preston boss Darren Ferguson, who along with Sheffield United’s Gary Speed is under more pressure than Keane, is desperate for a win for his bottom of the table side.

Keane confirmed that he is still looking long-term when he said: “It might take longer than we thought to get the team sorted out.

“What would be deemed as a successful season is open for debate.

“A Carling Cup final perhaps and top half of the table finish.

“We might stay where we are before going forward as our younger players gain experience.

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“But whatever happens my contract situation is the least of my worries.

“My profile can lead to everybody getting bogged down with my position.

“We should not get sidetracked about what we are trying to achieve here – to re-build.”

Keane mentioned the names of Sean Derry, Lee Carlsey, Kevin Kilbane and Michael Chopra in relation to players who could have brought experience to his squad last summer.

He says you have to look forward and went on: “It didn’t happen and it’s irrelevant - I’m not one for making excuses.

“What you see from me is what you get.

“But I’m judged on results and we need consistency - not winning every week as that is impossible in the Championship. Our league form is currently unacceptable.

“If I left next week I’d have no one to blame apart from myself – not Marcus Evans, Simon Clegg, the media, the staff, the fans.

“I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and our players who are out of contract in the summer – like me – should concentrate on doing well for the club not concerning themselves about who will be manager here next year.”

And stressing his continuing commitment to Ipswich Town, Keane added: “I made that commitment over 18 months ago.

“Okay my Cheshire house might be up for sale, but I only need one house.”

Keane, who said it was only fair to keep Damien Delaney on the sidelines against Swansea last weekend after a clean sheet against West Brom. has added to his views on 17-year-old striker Connor Wickham’s future.

“We don’t want to lose him, but we live in the real world,” said Keane. “With the help of staff members who have moved on the Premier League know all about him.

“Hopefully Connor can mature here over the next year or two. He deserves to be among the big boys.”

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