Keane expecting bit extra from Palace’s ex-Town players

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane is bracing himself for the ex-Blues contingent in the Crystal Palace camp to put in 5% extra at Selhurst Park this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Alan Lee, Darren Ambrose, David Wright and Owen Garvan are all expected to start while Lewis Price will be on the bench and George Burley manager and Malcolm Webster goalkeeping coach.

Pablo Counago is set to have joined the Eagles by the kick-off as well on loan for the season although he won’t be eligible to play. The Spaniard’s contract runs out at Portman Road next summer and he’s probably played his last Blues match.

“The players who I let go to Palace have nothing to prove to me,” said Keane.

“I hope they don’t hold it against me as I’m looking to change the dynamics of this club.

“I know what they can do and how well they served Ipswich Town – and they’re good lads.

“But you can raise your game by 5% say when playing against your former club, and this could happen against us today.”

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Keane will be looking to protect an unbeaten record this season - and a 100% away record – today against a club that doubled the Blues last season.

“It will be tough,” he said. “We had Jon Stead sent off on Boxing Day and it changed the course of the game.

“And they also turned us over at Portman Road.

“It should be a cracking atmosphere with Palace having won their previous home match, but our spirit is good and we’ll be going there to win.

“I’ll be able to put out a good starting line-up, but with the injuries and lack of new players my hands are tied about the experience we will have on the bench.

“The lads who take the field will be focussed on what they are paid to do – but they do need a hand.”

Keane said last night that he expected Counago to become a Palace player by today, and that he did not want to elaborate of the official club statement following Jon Walters’ four-year deal with Stoke City.

“We’ll leave it at that,” said Keane, who said that he sympathised with the current plight of striker Jon Stead.

“He’s had a strange few weeks and has talked to Bristol City, Blackpool and Cardiff City.

“Jon was never going anywhere this week, but it could happen next.

“He’s had all this hanging over him, but it has not shown in his performances, which have been very good.”

And talking about blooding youngsters, Keane went on: “I was put into the Nottingham Forest side at an early age by Brian Clough.

“I needed help and guidance and I was able to get it with the Forest team containing the England captain in Stuart Pearce and a host of internationals. It’s different at Ipswich.”

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