Roy happy with progress if not position

“WE'RE making progress,” is the message from Roy Keane today to Blues fans.The Town manager takes his team to fellow strugglers Scunthorpe tonight (kick-off 7.

Elvin King

“WE'RE making progress,” is the message from Roy Keane today to Blues fans.

The Town manager takes his team to fellow strugglers Scunthorpe tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) aware that defeat would keep his side in the thick of the Championship relegation battle.

And after the worst start to any Ipswich season and just seven wins in 31 league games, Keane's first 10 months in the Portman Road hot seat can hardly be classed a success.

But a win at Glanford Park could see Town move up from 19th to 15th in the table - their highest position since the table formulated itself early season.

Keane knows results on the field must improve, but with fans soon having to decide whether to renew their season tickets or not he sees plenty to be positive about.

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“We've been making progress,” he said.

“There are plenty of plusses going on in the background.

“I can talk about all the good that is happening at the training ground and around the club but that goes out of the window when you play games.

“It's what happens on the field that the club is judged on. This is natural.

“Fans are interested in seeing passion and goals from the team and a hard-to-beat attitude.”

Keane is aware that at other clubs supporters could have been on his back very early in the campaign after failing to win a league match until the end of October.

“I've been lucky; supporters could have been on my back after five or six games,” added Keane.

“The disappointing position we are in the league comes down to the manager 100 per cent.

“I know I've got a lot to do to become a top manager. I've never felt I've cracked management for one minute.”

Town's improved second-half display in Saturday's 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday was welcomed by a manager who'd seen his side concede their last nine goals after the interval.

He adopted a different approach at Hillsborough asking fitness coach Antonio Gomez to warm his players up prior to the re-start.

“The players came out early to change their mindset,” explained Keane.

“We wanted to warm-up before the opposition came out.

“We wanted to do it a bit longer, but the referee was quick on the buzzer at half-time and before we knew it we were kicking off.

“We're always looking at things to keep players fresh, not physically because if you're not fit at this time of the season then I'd be worried.

“It's what goes on between the two ears that count. That's why it's a test over the next month or so.”