Keane’s plans in tatters

ANY plans that Roy Keane may have hatched, as regards sticking with a winning team, have been left in tatters by events out of his control over the festive week.

ANY plans that Roy Keane may have hatched, as regards sticking with a winning team, have been left in tatters by events out of his control over the festive week.

Yesterday, Keane lost his right-back following Gianni Zuiverloon’s premature return to West Brom.

Zuiverloon had played four games for Ipswich Town, following his loan switch from The Hawthorns last month, and was preparing to retain his place at Coventry City on New Year’s Day.

But now the flying Dutchman, who celebrates his 24th birthday today, is set to line up for the Baggies against Premier League leaders Manchester United. Fellow right-backs Gabriel Tamas and Gonzalo Jara are both suspended.


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Zuiverloon had impressed in Town’s last outing, a lengthy 12 days ago in the 3-0 home win over Leicester City, so it is a big blow for Keane to see the ex-Feyenoord and Heerenveen defender leave so suddenly. He would also have been available for the home game against Nottingham Forest on January 3, before his planned return a day later.

Playing on the opposite side of the pitch, left winger Shane O’Connor had also caught the eye in that memorable win over the Foxes on a snow-covered Portman Road pitch.

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But Keane was already facing up to the prospect of replacing O’Connor, following his pre-Christmas training ground injury – he is out for six weeks with a ruptured and dislocated shoulder joint.

The Town boss, therefore, will have to make at least two changes to his side for Saturday’s trip to seventh-placed Coventry City.

The contenders to replace Zuiverloon at right-back are headed by Tom Eastman, Jaime Peters and Troy Brown. Peters would be the most similar option to Zuiverloon, being an attack-minded player.

Meanwhile, Rory Fallon, who moved on loan to Ipswich from Plymouth last month, with a view to a permanent deal towards the end of January – his loan expires on January 22 – is also attracting interest from elsewhere.

The cash-strapped Pilgrims have revealed that another club, other than Ipswich, has tabled a bid for Fallon.

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