Keane on the crazy situation surrounding Wickham

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane insists that he will not be sacrificing hot property Connor Wickham to finance any January rush into the transfer market.

But he says it’s ‘crazy’ to have to depend on a 17-year-old to provide goals to gain promotion.

Wickham is back in contention for today’s Championship fixture against Millwall at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) after making a rapid recovery from an ankle injury he sustained eight days ago.

And with Liverpool leading the chase for the striker and intensifying their interest talk of a bid of around �8million when the transfer window opens is a distinct possibility.

Although Keane bemoans the fact that his promotion rivals have far more experience up front he is not looking to trade Wickham in for two or three proven goalscorers.

“I am not looking to sell anyone,” said Keane.

“We have Tamas Priskin and Jason Scotland followed by Connor Wickham and Ronan Murray and this does not compare with what Cardiff, QPR and Nottingham Forest have to offer up front.

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“If we feel a need to add to our strike force in the next few weeks - if the players we are keeping tabs on become available – I’m confident that finance for a loan will be provided.

“We won’t be talking silly wages of deals, but if it did come to that I’m again sure the club would go to that.”

Looking at his squad before they try to halt a slide that has seen three straight league defeats, Keane went on:

“We’re unable to cope with attacking setbacks, but hopefully we can keep our front men fit.

“It’s crazy that we’re depending on a 17-year-old for goals to take us somewhere.

“In an ideal world he should still be in the background and learning his trade at places like Stevenage in the reserve team.

“Connor gets injured and it’s treated as though it’s the end of the world – the lad is still available for the youth team for heaven’s sake!”

“He’s got a chance to make a top player, but I won’t be burning him out – I want him to still be in good shape when he’s 33.”

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