Toothless Town are a worry for boss

AS Roy Keane was quick to explain after Saturday's drab goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday, the most difficult job in football is sticking the ball in the back of the net!

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

AS Roy Keane was quick to explain after Saturday's drab goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday, the most difficult job in football is sticking the ball in the back of the net!

Toothless Town are not scoring enough goals, and it's a big worry for the proud Irishman.

“It was not a great game. I thought we had the better of the chances, and we continue to look solid at the back. But we didn't play brilliantly,” confessed Keane.

“We're simply not scoring enough. The hardest job in football is putting the ball in the back of the net, which is why the strikers are paid such huge sums of money.

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“They even get more than the midfielders, which always used to annoy me!” said ex-midfield maestro Keane wryly.

Town have scored just six goals in their last seven matches, a statistic that is the main reason why they are currently embroiled in a relegation battle.

Keane continued: “Their keeper (Lee Grant) pulled off a couple of good saves, but we had one or two more opportunities to score. There was one cleared off the line when we had a few going for it, but we need someone with that killer instinct.

“You'd like to think that we have goals in the side, and I'd hope that on another day we'd put two or three away. We need to do that at Cardiff next weekend, because we know how dangerous they can be.

“I've been trying different formations, and I did that again today, with Lee Martin playing off Tamas Priskin.

“We have to try and get the right combination. We will keep trying.

“To achieve anything as a team, you really need one or two of your strikers scoring on a regular basis.

“When you keep a clean-sheet at home you think you are going to create chances and take one of them, but we're not scoring enough. I'd have expected us to score from one of our chances.

“We're not looking so much of a scoring threat, whereby a few weeks ago we were scoring three goals at Doncaster and Sheffield United.”

Priskin played alongside Martin, Jon Walters and Jon Stead during various stages of Saturday night's game, but Town rarely looked like scoring. Priskin did find the back of the net in the 77th minute, although that goal was ruled out for offside.

There was also no place in the 18-man squad for Pablo Counago.

Keane explained: “Pablo Counago was left out. He's a good player for us, but there were other strikers who got the nod ahead of him this time.

“Tamas (Priskin) did not need to be offside with that chance. He could have been more patient.

“But our midfielders can come in and score as well, like Grant (Leadbitter) and Carlos (Edwards). And Quinner (Alan Quinn) had a good chance tonight.

“The pressure builds when you are not scoring and not winning matches. We are lacking a bit of balance in the team.

“It was a strange evening. I thought our fans were a bit frustrated tonight. It was a funny atmosphere, perhaps down to the 5.20pm kick-off time. We certainly needed to do more to get the fans up for it.”

Keane recalled Owen Garvan for the first time since the 2-0 defeat at West Brom on August 22. And the 21-year-old responded with a promising performance.

“Owen grew into the game. Any player under the roof at Ipswich has a chance, so long as they are training well. Players are not being frozen out. He's never been that far out of my plans,” explained Keane.

“I thought he did well tonight. He's a goal threat, and he had a couple of decent strikes. His fitness levels are decent, and I need to get as many potential goalscorers on the pitch as I can.

“We're doing okay, but I've never settled for okay in my life.

“Our league position is very disappointing. It's not where we want to be at this time of the season. Our form is not too bad, but there's such a big difference between drawing and winning games.

“I'll keep preserving the players that I have, and we are still creating chances. I was more worried earlier in the season when we were not creating chances,” concluded Keane.