Win double will be just the ticket

GOOD results over the next two games are vital if Portman Road is to be well populated next season.

Elvin King

GOOD results over the next two games are vital if Portman Road is to be well populated next season.

The Blues are poised to release details of season tickets for the 2010/11 campaign.

If Roy Keane's bottom-three team get dragged closer to the threat of relegation with defeats at Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) and at Scunthorpe on Tuesday, there could be a mass exodus from home games next term.

Because of the logistics of operating a direct debit system and putting into practice the usual 'early bird' scheme, Town are keen to kick-off their 2010/11 season-ticket selling campaign.

Timing is crucial and two wins will set the club up for an announcement around the middle of next week. Anything less and this might be delayed for the fear of losing a significant percentage of the 15,000-plus current number of season-ticket holders.

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These sales count for a huge proportion of the Championship club's annual income, and are vital during the summer months when there is no match revenue coming in.

Fans, who are unlikely to face an increase in season ticket prices, have remained loyal to the manager and the club so far. But many will think long and hard about renewing if a place in League One is in the offing.

This time last year moves were beginning behind the scenes to remove Jim Magilton and replace him with Keane.

The situation has not reached that stage yet regarding Keane with club owner Marcus Evans still backing the man he appointed amid a blaze of publicity last April.

And skipper Jon Walters has today came out to back his manager amid growing criticism after the shock 3-1 defeat at bottom club Peterborough on Tuesday.

“I'm still behind the manager, without a shadow of a doubt,” said Walters.

“Our performances on the field have nothing to do with preparation. It's down to the players.

“No-one can play a bit-part and it's only us to blame.

“Tomorrow and Tuesday's games are both worth six points really so they're huge games. Not just for the players but for everyone at the club.

“We've got an excellent squad compared to most teams in the Championship.

“I can't put my finger on why we're struggling this year, compared to last.”