Keane’s careful where he hangs his hat

ROY Keane is not just hanging his hat on his strikers.

ROY Keane is not just hanging his hat on his strikers.

For while Ipswich Town’s front-men have been firing blanks for most of this season, manager Keane is expecting a better goal-contribution from the rest of his team.

Instead of criticising his strikers - Tamas Priskin, Jason Scotland and Connor Wickham have mustered just four goals between them in nine league games - Keane wants more from his midfielders, wingers and defenders.

“The strikers not scoring many goals does not keep me awake at night,” insisted Keane on the eve of today’s home game against Leeds.

“Whoever’s playing in midfield, and the wide men, I believe they should contribute as well.

“We’re always talking about strikers, but it’s OK for the midfielders to score as well, and our defenders.

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“We’ve got to try and get goals from all areas of the pitch. We don’t want to just be dependent on Jason, Tamas or even Connor, particularly if we play just the one striker up front.

“It’s up to the other players to contribute, and particularly the midfielders. It’s not against the law for them to score.

“Let’s not all hang our hats on the strikers.

“I’m happy with my strikers. We’ve got to go easy with Connor, but in terms of Tamas and Jason they’ll score goals for us,” added Keane.

The Town boss might operate with two strikers against Leeds. The big question surrounds Wickham, and whether he will start after just a few brief appearances following his two-month struggle with an ankle injury.

Keane confirmed: “Connor has not had a chance to get 70 or 80 minutes under his belt yet. He’s only had cameo performances, and he’s still catching up to speed.”

Town will be without the suspended duo of David Norris and Luke Hyam, so Keane will have to make changes in the middle of the park.

Norris picked up his fifth booking of the season during the 1-0 defeat at Reading, while Hyam was sent off for two yellow cards in the same match.

Jake Livermore is therefore set to make his full debut for Town, having signed on loan from Tottenham just over a week ago, and having appeared as a second-half substitute at the Madejski Stadium

Keane said: “We’re going to miss the two boys, but you’ve got to take your punishment.

“We’ve got good options, with Colin Healy and Jake (Livermore), and Jaime Peters can also play in there.

“That’s what we have brought Jake to the club for. He’s had a week or so at the club now, and it was nice to get him on the pitch the other night for 15 to 20 minutes.

“I think he did reasonably well, so he’ll be pushing for a starting place. I have absolutely no problem with that, whatsoever,” added Keane.

Town’s only injury worry surrounds Darren O’Dea, who operated as a centre-half against Reading after a few outings at left-back.

The Celtic loanee has been hampered by a knee problem in recent weeks and will therefore face a late fitness test.

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