Keane says the bar has been raised

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane today welcomed the bar being raised at Portman Road.

“It is like chalk and cheese from this time last year,” said the Blues manager as he took a break from preparing his side for their Championship game against Coventry City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) tomorrow.

Skipper David Norris and Luke Hyam, who has made a huge impact this season, are both available for selection after serving one-match suspensions in the 2-1 home win over Leeds United a fortnight ago.

But Keane said: “It is a nice position to be in with neither David nor Luke certain to go straight back into the team.

“They may be idle for a week or perhaps a month.

“The bar has been raised and it’s down to the players. Last season we had to bring David back in straight away after he returned from a lengthy injury.

“It’s different now with the squad having been strengthened – it’s chalk and cheese.”

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And Keane is happy with that.

“It might mean I have a delicate talk with David and Luke today, but that’s great it means we have options, which is what we need if we are to build on the platform we have built so far this season.”

And in typical Keane style he has no time for sympathy to players who have to miss out.

He added: “My players are on contracts and are on good wages, and I certainly done’t feel sorry for any of them.

“Billy Clark came in for a cameo role at the back end of last season and Arran Lee-Barrett was a regular who now has a fight on his hands to get on to the bench.

“And Luca Civelli has a bit to do and big battle to get back into the team with Carlos Edwards and Andros Townsend beating people wide and getting balls into the box.

“Good luck to Luca, and to everybody else, but I’m not upset by their current position whatsoever.

“Players will have a chance and like Luke Hyam and Connor Wickham some will take it.

“One slack performance we can forgive, but two and you get left behind.”

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