Keane has reached crossroads with Town fans

IPSWICH TOWN: After a third nightmare result in a row, Blues manager Roy Keane is at a pivotal point in his Portman Road managerial career.

It doesn’t look good at the moment for a successful season.

But to be fair 10 days ago it was a different picture – sitting in fifth place in the Championship table and with just two defeats to their name.

And what could swing things one way or the other is the manager’s relationship with supporters, which has come to a crossroads.

At the moment he still has the majority on his side as was shown by their chants at the City Ground in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Nottingham Forest.

There were chants of ‘Keano, Keano sort it out’ but few, and the main theme was of nearly 2,000 still backing their manager.

So when Keane responded to Forest fans’ taunt of ‘What’s the score, Keano?’ with two fingers, Blues supporters were soon on their feet singing his praises.

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Keane badly needs a win against Northampton tomorrow as a place in the quarter-final of a major cup competition is not to be sneezed at – particularly after three tough away wins.

If so fans will stay behind him despite the manager playing with fire with his condemnation of them for barracking his younger players.

Reflecting on the Forest defeat, Keane said: “The second goal coming just before half-time was a real blow for us.

“We just wanted to get in 1-0 down and we should have seen it out to the break.

“I don’t want to take the glory away from the lad because it was a fine strike but it showed that we are not streetwise.

“We conceded two bad goals and we didn’t get any breaks ourselves – but that’s the way it is at the moment.

“We didn’t make their goalkeeper work too hard but it was not as if our keeper had to make saves left, right and centre.

“Forest are ahead of us at the moment in that they have some very good players with experience and we are asking young players to do a man’s job.

“But we have good honesty in the squad and when you have that you have a chance.

“Now we’ve got a very important cup tie against Northampton. And it’s not going to be easy.”

Keane went on: “This defeat was similar to the Watford game last Tuesday and the match against Forest last year when it ended up 3-0.

“That’s three defeats in a row. Against Coventry I think we could have got something, and at Watford and again today.

Keane said that striker Jason Scotland was always expected to play only the first 45 minutes and that the Trinidadian wasn’t injured.

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