Keane ready to send in the kids

IF it is good enough for the likes of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, why not Roy Keane's Ipswich Town?

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

IF it is good enough for the likes of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, why not Roy Keane's Ipswich Town?

In recent years the top teams have blooded their young guns in the League Cup and allowed them to go as far as they can, with varying degrees of success.

The Blues are fielding their 'development squad' for tonight's Carling Cup clash at Shrewsbury Town and young defender Tommy Smith believes that should be given the chance to go all the way to Wembley.

He said: “If the team performs well and wins the game I don't see why we should not get another chance and the manager could do that.

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“There is enough quality in there to beat any team so why not?”

Not that these eager beavers can do much worse than more experienced Town sides in recent years who have crashed out in the early rounds to the likes of MK Dons, Peterborough, Doncaster, Yeovil and Notts County.

Smith said: “It is time to change all that. Sometimes when you are playing teams in divisions below you can get complacent and thing we can just turn up and beat them but we won't be thinking that.

“We are all going to be switched on and because there is a lot of young lads we are going to be hungry to win and impress so that will not happen.

“It is a young squad but there is enough quality throughout the team and I'm sure we can put in a performance and win the game.

“Everyone will be working their socks off to impress.”

“We want to win every competition no matter what it is and the players will be fully committed.

The manager has made it clear what he expects and Smith is under no illusion about what is required.

He said: “He wants us to take pride in the Ipswich Town shirt and play every game as if it is our last.

Smith started last season in contention for a regular first team place but a broken ankle, from which he is now fully recovered set him back.

So it is not just progressing in the competition that will be spurring these youngsters on but the chance to jump from the midweek side to the weekend team.

Smith said: “The gaffer gave everyone a fair chance in pre season and all I can do is keep plugging away and try and get in the Championship team.

“It is massive for all of us. Whoever plays will be itching to impress the manager and I'm no different.

“If I'm involved I will be looking to play my own game, put in a performance and hopefully help keep a clean sheet.”

Paul Simpson's Shrewsbury side beat league Tow newcomers Burton Albion 3-1 on Saturday so Smith knows they will be no soft touch.

He said: “Shrewsbury have a decent team and new stadium so I'm looking for to paying there. We won't underestimate them as

T all and the better team will win.

“We move the ball quickly through the middle of the park and if we keep the ball rather than force it we will tire them out. If we are patient the game will open out and that could work for us.”

The game will give Town fans a chance to see many of their up and coming youngsters but also new signings Toy Brown, Shane O'Connor and Colin Healy, along with on loan Jack Colback.

Smith added: “They have settled in really quickly already. They seem good lads and have joined in the banter.”

And they are all looking to enjoy this Carling Cup journey just as they have seen the Premier League boys do.