Roy admits Stern loan is a gamble

STERN John would never pass a medical, but Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane is convinced he is the right man to give his side a December boost.The 33-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international was signed on loan until December 29 from Crystal Palace on Thursday night and is expected to make his debut in the Championship fixture at Cardiff City tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Elvin King

STERN John would never pass a medical, but Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane is convinced he is the right man to give his side a December boost.

The 33-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international was signed on loan until December 29 from Crystal Palace on Thursday night and is expected to make his debut in the Championship fixture at Cardiff City tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

“Stern would never pass a medical,” said Keane. “This is because of his body condition and the state of his knees.


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“But he is here for five weeks or so and there was no need to give him one, although it is a bit of a gamble.

“But Stern is a man's man, and I expect him to be involved in every training session, and be available for every game.

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“He was when I managed him at Sunderland, and I am expecting the same from him now.”

Keane appreciates that John will not get behind defences, but he says he has the right attributes to increase Town's goal output that has seen them score just 17 times in 17 league games.

“When you look at the stats and see the number of times we have played the ball into the box it is scary,” added Keane, who began his Town managerial career with a 3-0 win at Ninian Park last April.

“Stern will get his head to crosses and will have a presence and also allow other strikers to work off him.

“He is an intelligent player and proved one of my best signings at Sunderland and he is a man. There are not many footballers you can say that about.

“When I wanted him to go to Southampton as part of the deal that brought Kenwyne Jones to Sunderland, Stern shook my hand and got on with the new challenge in his life.

“There was no asking his agent, wife, girlfriend before making a decision like so many players.

“He will bring something different as what has cost us this season is our inability to attack crosses. Stern will do that.”

Palace manager Neil Warnock says he let John leave because the striker was desperate for games.

John missed two months after injuring his elbow on the opening day of the season and has yet to score for Palace in seven games.

Warnock is happy to give him a chance to get match fit and with Calvin Andrew's return from injury and the form of Alan Lee playing a part in his decision.

“It was very last minute and I didn't know if it was going to go through,” said Warnock.

“Stern said he was desperate for games and as we have got Calvin back I thought it would be good for him.

“He will be back after 28 days so hopefully he will get some match practice.

“Alan (Lee) has been doing ever so well as well so it was a number of things that made up our decision.

John's loan ends on December 29, but he will not be eligible to play against the Eagles at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day.

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