‘We’re here for the long term’ Keane’s right hand man

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues number two Tony Loughlan went public for the first time since joining the club 18 months ago to forecast good times ahead.

Speaking at the Supporters Club annual general meeting at the Legends Bar, Portman Road, Roy Keane’s right hand man stressed:

“The spirit is good. This is what is different from last season.

“I know the manager is settled in the area with his family – and I am as well. We are planning to be here for the long term..

“The plan is to be in contention for a play-off place in February, and we are looking for this to be our season.

“Newcastle were ready to go back up last season but few clubs in the Championship are ready for the Premier League.

“But look at Blackpool – we would certainly take that,

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“Its fair to say that Cardiff, QPR and Nottingham Forest have stronger squads than us, and we would like to be stronger.

“But we are good enough for a top six – even a top two finish.”

Looking at the season do far, Loughlan, who played with Keane at Nottingham Forest and joined him at Sunderland when Keane moved into management, went on:

“If we had told fans we would be one point off the top six and in the quarter-final of the Carling Cup at the end of October they would I’m sure have taken that.

“It was important to have a good start after last season and although it was sore to lose three games on the trot recently that is the nature of the Championship.”

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