What could drive Keane out of Portman Road

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane could be driven out of Portman Road more by the dull nature of his side’s play than club owner Marcus Evans’ desire to send him packing.

Unlike some clubs, the Blues have an owner who appreciates that most successful clubs are being steered by long-term managers.

Coupled with the huge benefits Evans’ main companies enjoy worldwide from having a high profile man at the helm, and Keane’s position despite a dramatic drop down the Championship on the back of three straight defeats is perfectly secure.

But what Keane badly needs is a result at Carrow Road in Sunday’s East Anglian derby – and an exciting display to boot.

His popularity with fans is at an all-time low built on a failure to gain any consistently good results and added to in recent weeks by what may be considered unwise criticism of supporters.

The underlying unrest has been inflamed by a steady diet of mainly unpalatable fare that is steadily turning fans away from Portman Road.

Season ticket sales came down to less than 14,000 this season, and if the trend continues as supporters vote with their feet attendances of around 15,000 could be the norm next term.

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This would surely not be acceptable to Evans, who saw Ipswich Town having the potential to bring him not just Premier League but European football and have Portman Road full and vibrant again.

His third anniversary arrives next month with on the face of it no progress made and his dream just as unfulfilled as it was when his company took control of a �40million debt to free up club finance for a march to the Promised Land.

Fans have been leaving home games for far too long now - yes going back to Jim Magilton’s reign – not having been entertained.

They will take mundane football if it brings results, but it isn’t - and things are coming to a head.

Sunday’s game and next Wednesday’s home Carling Cup quarter-final against West Brom gives perfect opportunities to win back fans – or Evans may be forced to act.

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