Keane says that it’s a different Town team these days

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues manager Roy Keane suggests that the disappointments of the summer have turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

He leads his equal top of the table Championship side into action against Portsmouth at Fratton Park today (kick-off 3pm) likening the spirit in his camp to that which brought success to Wimbledon and Millwall.

“All the doom and gloom that accompanied our pre-season has created something,” said Keane.

“Having had a planned tour to Holland reduced to one game and had a match at Southend called off two days before it was meant to be played, and having suffered a couple of bad injuries did not make it an ideal preparation for us.

“But it has instilled into the players a feeling that they have to do it themselves. There will not always be help.

“There was no expectation like last season when the worst thing that could have happened to me was to win my opening two games in charge when we were somewhat fortunate to beat Cardiff and then Coventry at the back end of 2008/09.

“We have created an atmosphere – our own Wimbledon and Millwall gaining success from adversity and breeding togetherness.

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“Things have gone against us and it’s a different Ipswich Town now.

“There is a lot of energy and spirit and a willingness to get stuck in.”

While Keane deflects praise for the good start to the campaign on to his players he accepts that he is now more comfortable in the job.

He went on: “I was testing different players last season in different environments.

“I’m a lot more comfortable now and know what they are capable of.

“And I’ve had to adapt and wheel and deal more and tighten up the squad, which I understand the reasons for.”

Looking at today’s games against a side at the bottom of the table, Keane said: “Don’t get bogged down by tables at this time of the year.

“Portsmouth have good players and they are a physical presence who will have some great backing from the stands.

“I know what I’ll get from my side these days – but that does not guarantee gaining three points.

“If we’re not 100% at Fratton Park we’ll get beaten. It’s as simple as that.”

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