Keane target ‘will not come and play in reserves’

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane, the Blues manager, is keeping his fingers crossed that he can add a new loanee to his squad before tomorrow’s Championship game against Coventry City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane, the Blues manager, is keeping his fingers crossed that he can add a new loanee to his squad before tomorrow’s Championship game against Coventry City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

Keane was given the thumbs up to talk to a Premier League player on Monday, and he enthused:

“He’s not someone who will come in and play in the reserves.

“Talks are progressing and I’ve spoken to the club and the player. He is a midfielder who like all good players can also play in defence.

“I’m hopeful and he’s a good player, and if we want to stay in the top six we have to look at the experience that the likes of Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City have. They are ahead of us.

“We have a lot of games coming up and I have been looking to add to the squad.

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“But if it doesn’t happen before the Coventry game there is always next week.”

Connor Wickham was back from England Under-19 duty last night, and Keane expects him to be available for selection along with all the other squad members who have been on international duty over the last fortnight.

“I’ve no problem with my players going on international duty,” added Keane. “But it’s a bit frustrating that Tamas Priskin and Marton Fulop did not see much action with the Hungarian team.”

Tommy Smith did not make the trip to New Zealand because of a back problem, but Keane says the defender is 100% fit to face Coventry and he is expected to partner Gareth McAuley at the heart of the defence.

“New Zealand were very good over Tommy and they have the scans anyway,” said Keane.

“Sitting on a plane for 24 hours is the worst case scenario for him, and we are monitoring the situation and will give Tommy plenty of rest time.

“Like Gareth, who has hardly missed a minute for us this season there are players that we keep an eye on.”

Keane will finalise his side after training today, and he said that he did not expect that task to be an easy one.

“Not for the team itself - or for the bench,” he stressed.

“I have three main strikers battling it out starting positions and there is the option of playing two players up front against Coventry.

“Connor Wickham is a good option to bring on particularly at home where he gives something different,.

“And Jake Livermore looked a quality player against Leeds in our last match although we are still figuring out his best position.”

Alan Quinn is back in training after damaging a groin pre-season while Reggie Lambe leaves on Sunday for 12 days playing for Bermuda in an Under-20 competition.

Coventry’s Danny Ward has returned to Bolton Wanderers for a hernia operation.

Tomorrow’s likely squads

Ipswich Town: Fulop, Peters, Eastwood, Brown, McAuley, Smith, Kennedy, Delaney, O’Connor, Hyam, Livermore, Norris, Leadbitter, Edwards, Townsend, Scotland, Priskin, Wickham, Murphy, Healy, Murray.

Coventry: Westwood, Keogh, Cranie, Wood, Turner, Carsley, Clingan, Gunnarsson, Platt, Jutkiewicz, McSheffrey, Ireland, Cameron, King, Baker, McPake, McIndoe.

Referee: Mr R Shoebridge (Derbyshire)

Ipswich home league record against Coventry City

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