Turning Town into 'seven-game' wonders

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane wants to turn his side into seven-game wonders.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane wants to turn his side into seven-game wonders.

He has stressed the importance of being in the Coca-Cola Championship promotion mix by the middle of September.

And starting with this afternoon's match against Leicester City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) this gives the Blues seven games to make an impact.

They will be looking to get some points on the board against the Foxes after losing 2-1 at Coventry City in the opening league match last weekend.

Keane said: “We must make sure that we are in the promotion mix in four or five weeks' time.

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“And I am sure we will.”

Town have four home league games and three away in the next five weeks with Crystal Palace, Preston and Nottingham Forest also to visit Portman Road while West Brom, Middlesbrough and Doncaster have to be visited.

Keane sees a number of teams in the promotion hunt, and added: “It looks like being a brilliant year for the Championship.

“There are number of good teams around with seven or eight more than capable of getting promoted.

“To reach the Premier League next season we need to have a good home record - starting today.”

Keane is prepared for a difficult game against Nigel Pearson's promoted Leicester. “They have the momentum and winning mentality that all promoted clubs have and will be looking to kick-on.

“The manager has made some good signings, but with a good-sized crowd behind us we are looking forward to the game.”

Former Leicester defender Gareth McAuley has been picked out as an important figure his afternoon. He joined Town for �600,000 last summer and after taking time to settle has been one of Town's strongest players.

“Gareth will lead the side as skipper, but it is also important that he plays well and is on top of his game,” said Keane.

And talking of 16-year-old Connor Wickham, who hit the headlines on Tuesday with two goals against Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup, Keane said: “I have no worries about the boy - he is as cool as a breeze.

“He has a good background, and will not get carried away like some sections of the media might.

“I will see how is before naming my side and whether he plays against Leicester or not he has what it takes to mature into a top player.”