Stead unconvinced by Keane as a Championship manager

JON Stead has questioned whether Roy Keane will ever be a successful manager – unless the former Ipswich boss is given another chance in the Premier League.

The one-time Town striker believes the standards set by the Manchester United playing legend means he may never be able to cut it in the world of the Championship.

Stead started the season under Keane at Ipswich, scoring in the opening day victory at Middlesbrough, before being sold to Bristol City just two weeks later.

He said: “I’m not sure (if he will be a success), it depends on the group of players he has got. I think he will be more successful the higher up he is.

“He demands the standards of Manchester United and when people don’t match those standards, he seems to have a problem.

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“He needs to be working at a higher level to be successful. If he tries again in the Championship or possibly lower, I’m not sure he will get what he wants from the players.”

Keane has been linked with a buy-out of Cambridge United and the vacant manager’s role at the Melbourne Victory in Australia in recent months. But he appears to be biding his time for the right opportunity.

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Stead, who started for Bristol City in last week’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of his old club, believes there are good times ahead for Paul Jewell’s men – despite Thursday’s humiliating derby day defeat.

And he hopes to see Connor Wickham in a starring role next season even if Stead was a little taken aback by the teenager’s emergence.

Stead admitted: “I’m a little bit surprised that it has happened so quickly for him because of his age and the fact this is really his first full season.

“But he is a huge talent, a real physical presence and that ability is always going to get him somewhere.

“He has done fantastically and I just hope he carries on that progress. I would like to see him stay at Ipswich and get another season in the Championship. It is a difficult league and he can learn a lot from that.”

While enjoying life at Ashton Gate, Stead only speaks highly of his time in Suffolk describing the club and fans as “great from top to bottom”.

Revealing the situation that saw him sold, Stead said: “Last summer, I knew the club was looking to move me on so I started looking for a new club as I had to think about my career.

“But then come the start of the season, I was in the team. It was then that I was moved on.

“I was disappointed to leave and if the club could have extended my contract, I would have been happy to stay. But I was in the last year of my contract and needed some security for me and my young family.

“Bristol City offered me a fresh opportunity and a chance to play regular football. I knew the manager wanted me so it ticked all the boxes.”

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