Norris says Keane will come good, some day

IPSWICH Town skipper David Norris is convinced that axed boss Roy Keane will enjoy success at another club.

IPSWICH Town skipper David Norris is convinced that axed boss Roy Keane will enjoy success at another club.

Norris revealed that he had no inkling of Keane’s impending departure, in the wake of Monday’s 1-0 home defeat by Nottingham Forest.

He was only informed of Keane’s sacking yesterday morning, just two days before Town’s trip to Chelsea for a big FA Cup tie.

But the midfielder is confident that Keane, who masterminded Sunderland’s rise into the Premier League at his previous job, will bounce back from his Portman Road flop.

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“I wouldn’t be surprised if he (Keane) went on to another job and did really well,” insisted Norris.

“He’s said himself that he is always learning, and I’m sure he’ll go on to be a better manager for being here.

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“He did a great job at Sunderland and I’m sure he is as disappointed as anyone else that it hasn’t worked out for him at Ipswich.

“Of course it’s a sad day for me, and the rest of the lads.

“The manager has lost his job, maybe other members of staff have lost their jobs, and as players we are accountable for that as well.

“We’ve played our part in people losing jobs.

“We haven’t been good enough on the pitch, which has cost the manager his job. We should all be very disappointed with that,” added Norris.

Although news of Keane’s sacking broke on Thursday night, Norris was blissfully unaware of the current upheaval until Chief Executive Simon Clegg phoned him yesterday.

Norris confirmed: “I personally didn’t see it coming after Monday’s game (against Nottingham Forest). It wasn’t like it was our first loss, we had lost games before.

“We were just on one of those runs and I didn’t think anything was going to happen.

“I just had a phone call off the Chief Exec this morning to say that there were going to be changes in the management and that he wanted me to come in and to speak to me and the players.”

Norris has a key role to play at Chelsea tomorrow, not only because the club are without a permanent manager, but because the team is also seriously weakened by absentees, especially in his midfield area.

Grant Leadbitter is suspended, while Jack Colback was recalled by Sunderland from his loan spell earlier in the week, due to an injury crisis at the Stadium of Light.

There was a further setback yesterday, when Tottenham loanee Jake Livermore picked up a groin strain in training, just a day after being granted permission to play against Chelsea by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

But Norris is undaunted: “We will be going to Chelsea to try and win for ourselves, not just the manager. It should be a nice distraction for us.

“Not many people will give us a chance, so it’s something that we should all look forward to, and it will be a good test for ourselves.”

Norris refused to be drawn on whether Town would have rallied, if Keane had been given longer.

“Who knows whether Roy would have turned it around with more time?” said Norris.

“I think the club will say that they gave him a lot of time, but I’m sure the gaffer would say that he would have liked to have had a bit longer, maybe until the end of the season.”

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