Keane frustrated over lack of signings

NO new players yet, and no new players on the horizon.

That is the stark reality for Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane, as he bids to mould his current squad, the under-achievers of last year, into promotion candidates next season.

It was back to school for Town’s first-team squad yesterday, with Keane’s men put through their paces on the first day of pre-season training in the hot sunshine at Playford Road.

But the only “fresh” face on show was Luciano Civelli, who is on the comeback trail after 15 months out with a serious knee injury. Otherwise, it was service as normal.

Keane revealed that he had spoken to two players earlier in the summer, who had both expressed a desire to sign for Town, but no deals were ultimately struck.

He did not name these targets, but Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra is almost certainly one of them. Crystal Palace midfielder Shaun Derry, who recently signed for QPR, could have been the other one.

“There’s been very little progress made on potential signings, very little,” admitted Keane.

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“I spoke to a couple of players who were keen to come here, but we couldn’t do the deals.

“My job is to identify players and speak to them, which I have done. But we never managed to get the deals done, so we’re disappointed.

“We just have to get on with it, and I’m looking forward to working with the players that we had last year.”

And Keane was also a little down-beat about the possibility of breaking his summer duck with some new recruits within the next few weeks

The Irishman continued: “I was optimistic two months ago, about getting in new faces. As I said, I had a couple of players lined up who fancied coming but we couldn’t get the deals done.

“There are various areas I think we need to improve and it’s up to the club to try and do the deals, which we haven’t been able to do. It’s disappointing and it’s frustrating, but that’s the way it is.

“It would have been nice to have added a few new faces, but that’s not been made possible so we’ll just be getting on with it.

“We hope that these deals might be resurrected. I have to take a step back and let the club do the deals.

“People will look at me when we don’t get the results, and with the people I work with we have to try and get these players in.

“We have decent numbers, in terms of the squad that we have, and we’ll just have to get on with it.

“I think every manager would like to come back for pre-season with one or two new faces, but it’s not happened,” concluded Keane.

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