Will Roy select an unchanged side?

COULD manager Roy Keane select a rare unchanged side when the Blues play their rearranged Championship game at Scunthorpe tonight (kick-off 7.45pm)?A win for Town will see them overtake the Lincolnshire-based side and possibly Derby, Preston and QPR as well.

Elvin King

COULD manager Roy Keane select a rare unchanged side when the Blues play their rearranged Championship game at Scunthorpe tonight (kick-off 7.45pm)?

A win for Town will see them overtake the Lincolnshire-based side and possibly Derby, Preston and QPR as well.

Every player Keane selected for the 1-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend pulled their weight and for once it would be no major surprise if he picked the same XI.


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On the other hand, Liam Rosenior is available again after illness and David Healy could well come under serious consideration as the Blues boss searches for goals.

When asked if he planned any changes, Keane said with a wry smile: “We'll see, people know I like to change.

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“I have to take into consideration that fact that we have three games in eight days.

“We've got players available who didn't play at the weekend, like Lee Martin and Owen Garvan, while Liam Rosenior was ill.

“We've got plenty of options, so I'll try and get it right.”

Shane O'Connor added balance and a good deal of authority on his league debut at left back at Hillsborough, and he has certainly pleased Keane, who went on: “Within ten minutes of seeing him I thought he's going to get a contract.

“It was the way he trained and the way he walked out.

“He kept pestering me for a trial last summer, and it just goes to show that perseverance wins in the end.

“He's got a contract until the end of the season, and if he keeps performing this way, not just for the first team but also the reserves, then he's got a chance.”

Keane revealed that O'Connor was close to playing non-league football or even Gaelic football in his native Ireland after being released by Liverpool.

“Shane would probably be back in Cork now. He was going to train the team I used to play for - Rockmount - and he was going to get back into Gaelic football.

“We've played with right-footers at left-back and it's been difficult and if he hadn't been injured, Shane would have played earlier. We have lost balance at times.

“But he's one we have to be careful of. Scunthorpe away is tough and you could see that in the last 20 minutes that Sheffield Wednesday were trying to take advantage of a possible tiring defence by putting on an extra striker.”

Keane was also happy with fellow newcomer Brian Murphy adding: “He didn't have too much to do, but what he did do he did very, very well.

“But let's judge him over a number of games. He's only played one game, let's remember that. We can all have one good day. I like players who have lots of good days.”

Tonight's likely squads

Scunthorpe (4-4-2): J Murphy; Byrne, Mirfin, Raynes, Williams; Thompson, Togwell, M O'Connor, Woolford; Hayes, Hooper. Subs: Lillis, Milne, McCann, J Wright, Sparrow, McDermott, Forte.

Ipswich Town: B Murphy, Lee-Barrett, D Wright, Rosenior, McAuley, Delaney, S O'Connor, Balkestein, Edwards, Leadbitter, Norris, Colback, Walters, Quinn, Garvan, Peters, Martin, D Murphy, Healy, Counago, Wickham.

Referee: Mr A Haines (Tyne and Wear).

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