Keane shock: ‘I’m too nice!’

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane insisted today that he is too nice.

The former Manchester United midfielder built up a fearsome reputation as a hard tackling player and players who have left Portman Road have told of how his squad have walked on egg shells during his management.

But on the eve of what must be one of the biggest games of his managerial career at bottom-placed Preston today (kick-off 3pm), Keane refuted these claims.

“I’m too nice,” he said.

“People think I’m a hard manager, but I’m not. I can be too nice.

“There might be one or two players last season who might argue with me, but I feel I’ve given every player a fair crack of the whip.

“Some have taken the opportunity like Grant Leadbitter who is Premier League standard and has been playing really well and Jack Colback, who along with Grant was our best player against Swansea a week ago.

Most Read

“Troy Brown has also done okay.

“But there is a fine line between showing loyalty and stupidity.”

And when asked whether a ‘nice’ manager could take Ipswich Town back up the Championship table again, Keane’s answer was: “Yes I can achieve that.”

And while still showing the mellow side of his nature, Keane again stressed how lucky he is to have fans like the ones that follow the Blues.

“Perhaps they’ve been too patient with me,” he said.

“They’ve been so good to me that it makes me even more desperate to do well for them.

“I can understand their frustration but I have been lucky.

“I put pressure on myself and it comes from within and it can run out first.

“And my message to our supporters is that we will keep doing our best.

“Luck may not have been on our side in recent weeks, but you have to be careful.

“You need to make your own luck and defend for your lives and not keep talking about refereeing decisions.”

Keane might make more changes than just bringing back skipper David Norris after illness at Deepdale and added:

“They could be up front. Tamas Priskin and Jason Scotland have not scored the goals we were looking for in recent games.

“But whatever happens today over Christmas with four games in 10 days everybody will get a game.”

Today’s likely squads

Preston North End: Lonergan, Brown, Jones, Cort, de Laet, Tonge, Russell, Pugh, Barton, Parkin, Parry, Hume, Davidson, Morgan, Nicholson, Mayor, Arestidou, McLaughlin, Gray, Treacy, St Ledger.

Ipswich Town: Murphy, Zuiverloon, Brown, Smith, Delaney, O’Dea, Eastman, Peters, Edwards, Leadbitter, Norris, Colback, Townsend, Livermore, Healy, Priskin, Scotland, Fallon, Murray, Lee-Barrett, O’Connor, Kennedy.

Referee: Mr E Ilderton (Tyne and Wear)

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter