Keane: ‘What a difference one place makes’

IPSWICH TOWN: What a difference one place makes.

So says Blues manager Roy Keane as he prepares himself for today’s npower Championship match against Barnsley at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).

“If we are in the top six everybody is happy,” said Keane. “If we slip down to seventh as we did following our defeat on Tuesday against Derby County it is too much.

“We’re doing okay and as I’ve said many times before we will see where that takes us and next May is when it counts.

“We’re going in the right direction and we’ll be okay and we should not be sidetracked by negativity in what is bound to be a roller coaster season as is the nature of the division.”

When asked what he sees as a good season, Keane explained: “It could be third and the Carling Cup final or 10th having sold one or two players in January and having my hands tied.

“Let’s face it has to be better than last season. There is more to come from us all, but when I took the job I said judge me at the end of this campaign.

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“I’ve got seven months left on my current contract and it depends on how long I get.”

And reflecting on the season, Keane went on: “Thank God we’re winning games.

“We may be losing some, but last season we were draw, draw, lose.

“Sometimes there can be a good draw, but we are now capable of winning games, which gives us a chance “

Gareth McAuley (Achilles), David Norris (ankle) and Grant Leadbitter (suspended) miss out on today’s match with Keane saying that it is too early for Darren O’Dea and Mark Kennedy to come back from their injuries although O’Dea could be a surprise starter having been named on the bench on Tuesday.

“There’s a big difference between starting and being substitute,” said Keane. “Darren and Mark would be better suited playing in a friendly at Norwich next midweek and be ready for our visit to Hull next Saturday.

“We have options and I’m happy to give my young players a chance.”

Keane refused to reveal who is captain will be today saying: “I don’t like to give my team away to the opposition and naming the captain early would go some way to doing this.”

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