Walters doesn’t want Keane slanging match

IPSWICH TOWN: Jon Walters insists that he does not want a public slanging match with Blues manager Roy Keane.

The 26-year-old, who joined Stoke City in a four-year initial �2.75million deal on Wednesday said today:

“I’m not looking for a slanging match, even though the things that were said were not wholly true.

“It doesn’t fuss me one way or the other. I don’t mind what My Keane says or will say.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ipswich and have a lot of friends at the club and in the area.

“It’s a wrench to leave in terms of that, but now I’m looking forward to the challenge of doing well at Stoke.

“I’ll try to do well regardless of what he’s said.”

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“It’s been hard work to get back into the Premier League for me, but the real hard work starts now. I’m not going to think `Oh, I’ve got where I want to be now.’ I’ve got here by working hard, so I’m not going to stop now.”

While Walters has gone, Blues fans will be able to breathe a sigh of relief today with news that key defender Gareth McAuley is to stay at Portman Road.

Manager Keane has confirmed that the Northern Ireland international will not be leaving the Blues before the transfer deadline on August 31.

The 30-year-old is one of Town’s saleable assets and Keane has hinted that if an offer came in high enough the former Leicester City man could be on his way – to clear the decks for incoming players.

“Jon Walters has gone and Pablo Counago is going to Crystal Palace on a season-long loan, and Jon Stead could be off next week,” said Keane.

“But that will be it.

“I don’t think there will be any more players leaving the club before the transfer deadline. Gareth is going to stay.”

McAuley will be in action today when Ipswich look to keep their good npower Championship start going with a result at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace (kick-off 3pm).

He could be partnered by new loan signing Darren O’Dea from Celtic, who Keane said would be in his squad.

“Darren wants to be here and he drove down from Glasgow to Ipswich the next day after we first talked. This shows his enthusiasm – it was no ‘I’ll fly down next Friday’ attitude.

“He’s scored important goals for a big club like Celtic and he’s a good lad and will do well for us.”

Carlos Edwards is in line for a recall today after recovering well from a groin problem sustained two weeks ago, but Grant Leadbitter will have to wait for Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie at Crewe for a possible return.

“His injury is not as bad as first thought, but Grant will not be ready to face Palace,” added Keane.

“David Norris will lead the team out and he is popular in the dressing room and I’m delighted with him with some players enjoying the extra responsibility that captaincy brings.”

Today’s likely squads

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Wright, McCarthy, Davis, Clyne, Ambrose, Garvan, Dorman, Danns, Lee, Zaha, Price, Andrew, Bennett, Barrett, Pinney, O’Keefe.

Ipswich Town: Fulop, Peters, McAuley, O’Dea, Smith, O’Connor, Hyam, Edwards, Norris, Townsend, Priskin, Stead, Healy, Murphy, Eastman, Murray, Hourihane.

Referee: Mr J Moss (West Yorkshire)

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