Wickham set to be a “super sub”

CONNOR Wickham will not just stroll straight back into the Ipswich Town starting line-up.

CONNOR Wickham will not just stroll straight back into the Ipswich Town starting line-up.

Teenage sensation Wickham impressed for England Under-19s in their recent Euro 2011 qualifying games in Belgium, scoring on his debut in the win over Albania.

However, Town boss Roy Keane does not necessarily see him as his out-and-out No. 1 striker, which is why the 17-year-old could well be on the bench for tomorrow’s home game against Coventry City.

Keane looks set to employ Wickham as a “super sub,” with either one or both of Jason Scotland and Tamas Priskin starting against Aidy Boothroyd’s Sky Blues.

“It’s my responsibility, as a manager, to look after him (Wickham). We have to look at the bigger picture for Connor,” insisted Keane.

“Tamas (Priskin) has scored three goals and Jason (Scotland) has also scored three, so there is no mad rush to start with Connor.

Most Read

“He can learn his trade as well by sitting on the bench and waiting for when we do throw him on, because he has proved to be a good sub to throw on, particularly at home.

“He gives you something. He gives us good options,” added Keane.

Centre-forward Wickham, who was the subject of an �8m bid from Tottenham over the summer, and has recently attracted the interest of Arsenal, is yet to play a full 90 minutes for Town this season.

He missed the first five weeks of the campaign, due to an ankle injury, since when he has been employed as a substitute with just a couple of starts.

But he did enjoy two starts for England U19s over the last week, against Albania and Belgium.

“Connor’s a good player, so there’s no surprise that he has made a good impression for England Under-19s. They had good results and apparently he did pretty well,” continued Keane.

“He needed some game-time under his belt. It will have been good for him.

“Our three main strikers are battling it out, but it’s still not great in terms of numbers, because some other clubs have six strikers. Yet we could have three for two positions on Saturday,” added Keane.

Meanwhile, the Town boss revealed that he was closing in on signing a new loan player, possibly before this weekend.

Keane said: “We’re in talks with a club and a player at the moment. We might have news before the weekend, and there would be a good chance that he would come into the squad for Coventry.

“He is from a Premier League club. He can play in midfield, but he can play in defence as well. We got the thumbs up on Monday or Tuesday to speak to him, but the player has also got other options.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter