Roy wants more

IMPROVE, or else a defeat is on the cards.

Ipswich Town are the only unbeaten club in the Championship, in terms of league and cup games, but manager Roy Keane has detected some lowering of standards.

And the Irishman believes that if Town continue in that same vein, then league leaders QPR will punish them this evening.

Town will leapfrog QPR, if they can win tonight’s Portman Road showdown. But it’s a big IF.

“One or two players were not quite at it on Saturday. They know that,” insisted Keane, with reference to Saturday’s goalless draw at basement dwellers Portsmouth.

“Players were slacking off from the standards that they’ve set in pre-season, in terms of training and their mentality.

“If they think we’ve achieved anything after six weeks, then they’ll know about it!

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“For us to win (against QPR), or have any chance of winning, we’ve got to do better than in previous weeks.

“We’ll have to be at our very best. If we play like we did against Bristol (City) in the first half, or even against Portsmouth in the first half, then we’ll probably get punished a bit more by QPR. We need to do better.

“QPR have the attacking players that will take advantage of that.

“I think we need to start the game a bit quicker. But it’s a home game, a night match and there should be a good atmosphere,” added Keane.

QPR have won four of their five league games, and drawn the other one. They easily disposed of Middlesbrough 3-0 on Saturday, and manager Neil Warnock could afford the luxury of not starting with either of his two new strikers, Rob Hulse or Tommy Smith.

In fact tonight’s match could be a bench-mark for what Town are capable of achieving this season.

Darren O’Dea is a serious doubt, due to an injury picked up when colliding with a post while trying to score at Portsmouth, so Mark Kennedy could be in line to start at left-back after his own spell on the sidelines.

Winger Andros Townsend returns to the squad after completing his three-match suspension for a red card at Crystal Palace.

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