Town boss keen to welcome back injured trio

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues manager Roy Keane will welcome the return to full fitness of Connor Wickham, Damien Delaney and Mark Kennedy as he would the signing of a new player.

Very unlikely to add to his squad before the transfer window closes on Tuesday, the Town manager is satisfying himself with the availability of three long-term injury victims.

His team takes on Bristol City at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) looking to build on a wonderful start to the season that has seen four away wins – and a home draw against Burnley.

In an ideal world he would like additions to three key areas, but he said:

“If I get those three back in three weeks time it would be better than any signing.

“They are all doing some jogging around the training ground and just seeing them with boots back on is heartening.

“Connor is a little way behind the other two but Damien and Mark could be back a week perhaps after the end of the international break.”

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Although Keane bemoans the lack of any significant transfer action over the next four days, he admits that his squad is now a strong one.

He added: “There will be no need to throw Connor or the other two back into the side as soon as they are free from injury.

“But having them back will be a big bonus.

“Our youngsters have done well and full marks to Luke Hyam for the way he has adapted to first team football.

“But you only have to look at the Newcastle midfield last season to see what you need to get out of this division – with internationals and Champions League players like Nicky Butt and Alan Smith.”

“The worst thing you can do when things are going well is to take your foot off the pedal and accept that you don’t need strengthening.

“We have good back up as was shown when I used some fringe players at Crewe in midweek, but teams that gain promotion have real strength in depth.

“We’ll need a good deal of luck with injuries to maintain a consistent challenge with our current group.

“It looks like being a quiet time on the transfer front between now and when the window closes.”

Town are expecting a 22,000 crowd for the visit of the Robins, who are likely to include striker Jon Stead who left Portman Road for �250,000 earlier this week.

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