Keane likes his Wickham ‘raw’

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane likes his Connor Wickham raw and he’s looking to the boy wonder to shoot his side back to winning ways.

The 17-year-old striker is set to make his first start of the season when the Blues play Cardiff City in the npower Championship at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Town were walloped 3-0 by Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday and although it was first defeat of the season it was a poor display and Keane says that Wickham has staked a claim for a recall after damaging ankle ligaments in pre-season.

“Being raw is what I really like about Connor,” said Keane.

“He is so hard to predict, which gives defenders a problem after dealing with strikers who have perhaps been over coached.

“Connor does not need any baby sitting. Or any brainwashing.

“When he went out in the second half on Tuesday there was no need to offer instructions to him.

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“He is best to learn how to make the right decisions instinctively on the field against more experienced opponents.

“I have never seen Connor play in a game yet when the match has passed him by. He is good enough player to make an impact every time.”

Wickham, who Town turned down sizeable bids from Premier League clubs for his signature in the summer, played for 20 minutes at Portsmouth last weekend and also impressed in the second period against Rangers.

“He’s given me a headache,” added Keane.

“Without any doubt he’s staked a claim for a starting place tomorrow. He’s said ‘You’ve got to play me’.

“He’s skipped reserve games as a route to a return – unlike some players who ask for several games in the second team before wanting to move forward after injury.

“We’re delighted to have Connor at this football club, and we have to be careful as he’s not started a match for four months.”

A win for the Blues would probably put them back into the top three while a defeat could see them drop towards mid-table, and Keane sees Wickham as being his trump card to ensure that Tuesday’s poor showing was just a blip.

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