Keane will look to youth

ROY Keane today revealed that he intends to make changes for Sunday's final Ipswich Town game of the season against Coventry City at Portman Road.

Elvin King

ROY Keane today revealed that he intends to make changes for Sunday's final Ipswich Town game of the season against Coventry City at Portman Road.

As the Blues look to win three consecutive games for the first time this season, manager Keane is not expected to field his strongest side.

He badly wants to win his first match in charge at Portman Road, but will be swayed by the need to take a look at as many players as possible before the summer break.


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Town have 13 players whose contracts end on June 30, but it will not be just players concerned about their immediate futures who are likely to get the nod from Keane.

With long-term plans in mind - and to assist in deciding what areas he needs to concentrate on during the close season transfer window - the Town boss is also set to give Veliche Shumulikoski an outing along with another start for Jaime Peters.

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Of the players sweating on new contracts striker Dean Bowditch could be a surprise squad member while Matt Richards, Alex Bruce and Tommy Miller are all set to feature.

“I am open minded at the moment and playing things by ear,” said Keane.

“Things have been taking more shape this week and there might be one or two of the younger players given a chance against Coventry.”

Keane watched the reserves in action at Leyton Orient on Tuesday, and he will be taking another look on Sunday with Shumulikoski missing out of the final 16 against Cardiff last weekend.

Keane knows all about Miller after he managed him at Sunderland, but may want to have a look to see his current form before deciding whether to offer a new contract, while it will be a ticklish decision over Bruce as the defender's father Steve is a former team mate and a friend of Keane.

Bruce will be fit for selection against Coventry after dislocating a thumb at Ninian Park, while skipper Gareth McAuley has a chance of making a return after a hamstring problem.

During his Sunderland managerial days, Keane often had his players staying in a hotel before home games.

Richard Wright, Pim Balkestein and David Norris were all named in the Championship Team of the Week for their performances in the win at Cardiff.

It's the first time this season that the Blues have had three players picked for the select XI.

Former Town chief executive Derek Bowden has confirmed that he will be staying at Portman Road until the end of May.

He is currently working alongside new chief executive Simon Clegg and said: “I am enjoying working with Simon and will be here until the end of May.

“I have no plans yet for what will follow my time with Ipswich Town.”

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