Keane dampens hopes of fans

THE short-term ambitions of Ipswich Town, and perhaps the short-term future of Roy Keane, could be decided over the next few days.

THE short-term ambitions of Ipswich Town, and perhaps the short-term future of Roy Keane, could be decided over the next few days.

Keane will soon discover whether Town’s owner and chairman, Marcus Evans, will give him some much-needed money to spend during the January transfer window.

The Irishman, whose own contract expires in the summer, wants to add “two or three” new players to his much-depleted squad, preferably in early rather than late January.

But whether Keane’s New Year wishes are granted is another matter altogether. He is certainly not full of hope.

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“We will find a lot about the club over the next few days, where we are actually heading,” insisted Keane yesterday.

“Whether we are going to invest in these (new) players, or keep looking to duck and dive by getting loan players in. We’ve got to make a statement of where we are hoping to go to, or where we are staying, or where we might be heading to.

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“Will the club invest in players, when the manager’s contract expires in four or five months’ time? Who knows, these are question marks that we have to look at over the next few days.”

Town travel to Coventry City tomorrow, sitting just four points ahead of the relegation zone following back-to-back festive postponements – the home match to Watford and away game at Doncaster were both called off due to frozen pitches.

Since Town’s last outing, a 3-0 win over Leicester in the snow a distant 13 days ago, Keane has lost four members of his squad.

Keeper Brian Murphy (broken ankle) and left-sided specialist Shane O’Connor (dislocated shoulder) are both out with long-term injuries, while the loan duo of Andros Townsend and Gianni Zuiverloon have both returned to their parent clubs, Tottenham and West Brom respectively.

Keane has identified the players he wants to recruit, but that is the easy part.

“I have identified the players I want, but I’m not particularly optimistic,” admitted Keane.

“I will give the targets to the chief executive and owner, and hopefully we’ll have more news in the next few days.

“But I’m not here to give the supporters false hope. If anything, I’m trying to dampen down their hopes, of them thinking there’s X amount of money to be spent, or that two or three players are on their way in.

“There’s no players due to drive through that gate over the next few days.

“I suppose I’m coming across as a bit of a Scrooge, but that’s the way things are looking over the next few weeks.”

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