Keane won't let Blues fall into the red

ROY Keane will not bankrupt the Blues in his pursuit of gaining a place in the Premier League.

Elvin King

ROY Keane will not bankrupt the Blues in his pursuit of gaining a place in the Premier League.

Keane takes his side to bottom-of-the-table Peterborough tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) seeking a seventh league victory of the season in the second of four consecutive away games.

He has 16 months left on a two-year contract having been entrusted by Town owner Marcus Evans to get the Blues into the top flight.

Keane was criticised in some quarters for overspending on players at his former club Sunderland, something he'll not repeat at Ipswich.

“I don't like the word budget,” he said. “It is new to me although I suppose I had one at Sunderland but didn't take much notice of it.”

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Looking ahead Keane went on: “It's looking a long shot this season, but for next season I'm looking for the right balance and to have the right characters.

“But it will have to be achieved with realistic wages.

“Our fans want success - of course they do.

“But we mustn't forget this club was in deep financial trouble a few years ago, and I'm well aware I have some wheeling and dealing to do and use the loan option as well.”

Striker Jon Stead has left Portman Road to join fellow Championship side Coventry, which opens the way for a new addition although Keane says that there is nothing currently in the offing.

“There was a striker I missed out on recently because we could not compete with his high wage,” added Keane.

“I had no chance of getting the boy although he went to another Championship club.

“There is pressure on managers to stretch themselves - to go a little bit extra to complete the jigsaw.

“But you've got to be careful.

“If the owner and chief executive here don't want to pay then I might not perhaps like it some days, but I accept it.

“Marcus Evans has been decent to me as he was to the previous manager.

“I'm comfortable with the situation, and have no problems.

“When I took the job I knew where I stood, and I'll have to use my man-management skills and work to a certain structure.”

Keane sees wages as the root of the financial problems currently being experienced by a number of professional clubs.

“You can normally get your head round a transfer fee,” he went on.

“You can pay by instalments and include add-ons etc.

“But big wages for players who have not earned them - although you cannot blame them for accepting them - is of major concern.

“This is why players sit tight in the top league when they are not playing.”

Keane says that the wage structure at Portman Road is realistic: “The top boys here are on realistic money.

“It would not be a problem if they were to move on.

“Championship clubs chasing promotion could afford them.

“Hopefully Daryl Murphy and David Healy will have scored eight or nine goals by the end of the season, and I can talk to Sunderland manager Steve Bruce about a permanent transfer in the summer.

“We were close to signing Daryl last summer, but then Hull stepped in.

“If we are going to push the boat out it will be for strikers.”