‘Keane would have done well under chairman Cobbold’

IPSWICH TOWN: On the first anniversary of Sir Bobby Robson’s death, former Blues star Bryan Hamilton today said how much current manager Roy Keane would benefit from having John Cobbold as chairman.

“Sir Bobby was a great manager there is no doubt about that,” said Hamilton, who lives just outside Ipswich.

“But he was lucky to have such a magnificent chairman in John Cobbold – followed by Patrick Cobbold.

“They were chairmen who took care of the club in such a way that Bobby could work his magic.

“John was the catalyst to Bobby’s success and created the atmosphere for Bobby to develop players and make shrewd signings.

“Bobby built a number of teams at Portman Road and then went on to be successful with England and have the spirit to work abroad and win trophies for clubs on the continent.”

Well aware that we now live in the 21st century and that football has become big business, Hamilton adds that a Cobbold figure running the club would help Keane bring success back to the Blues.

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“But I have respect for current chairman and owner Marcus Evans and what he has done - putting money into the club,” added Hamilton, who went on to manage Tranmere, Wigan, Leicester, Wigan and Norwich as well as Northern Ireland and coach briefly under George Burley at Ipswich.

“We went from John and Patrick to John Kerr and then David Sheepshanks, and they all wore their hearts on their sleeve.

“I’m sure Mr Evans does the same in his own way, and it’s up to him that he remains reclusive.

“Ipswich’s previous chairmen enjoyed some good times, and I hope that Mr Evans gets some joy as well.”

Looking ahead to the new season, Hamilton says that getting off to a good start will be the key.

He explained: “Ipswich must learn from last season when Roy – who is a born winner – will have been very disappointed.

“If they haven’t then it could be a tough year and I’m not sure the current squad has what it takes to pick things up if results do not go to plan in the opening six weeks or so.

“Despite not convincing everyone that they were making progress even when they were winning last season, Ipswich still have what it takes to finish around eighth.

“And when you get there, and the momentum builds then there’s no reason why they can’t go higher.”

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