‘Now we need our fans’ help against Swansea’ - Town star

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane has revived his position as the Blues head for doubled-barrelled mouth watering cup games against Chelsea and Arsenal inside four days.

Town played Premier League West Brom off the park at Portman Road last night to reach the semi-finals of the Carling Cup.

Their reward for recapturing their form and the faith of their fans in a 1-0 win is a two-legged semi-final against Arsenal with the home leg on January 11 or 12 – just after their January 8 visit to Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Manager Keane had no option than to field a weakened team last night, and without the pressure of trying to gain Championship points to end a slump that has seen them nosedive down the table his makeshift side produced their best display of the season.

Grant Leadbitter scored the all-important goal from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Carlos Edwards had been fouled to confirm that despite growing unrest Keane’s position is still one of some strength.

Tamas Priskin enjoyed a magnificent match and it was only his finishing that let him down as he led the visiting defenders a merry dance.

“We deserved the win and we were helped by our fans,” said the Hungarian striker who should have been given a first half penalty.

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“They were magnificent, and now we want them to help us against Swansea in the league on Saturday.

“This display will give us confidence going into that game, and we know that we badly need a win.

“It’s great to have Arsenal in the semi-finals and our supporters can give us a hand in those two legs as well.

“Perhaps West Ham or Birmingham would have given us a better chance of reaching Wembley, but we still have plenty to look forward to..

“It was a definite penalty when I was fouled, but we still won well and won by keeping a clean sheet.”

Keane, who still needs a good run in the league to ensure his long term future at the club - and win over doubting fans many of whom stayed away last night - said: “It was good not to make any mistakes and I’m pleased for the players and our fans.”

Live television coverage for the semi-finals will bring in vital extra income and help provide finance for the signings Keane is planning to make in January.”

West Brom number two Eddie Newton had no complaints saying: “We were poor from start to finish and didn’t turn up – deserving to lose.

“But I warned at the interval that the crowd might get at the referee and their player was on his way down before the challenge came in when the penalty was awarded.”

It will be Town’s first semi-final of a major competition since they were beaten by Birmingham in this competition 10 seasons ago.

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