Wright is backing Roy to succeed

BLUES Player of the Year Richard Wright vowed he, and the team, will be even better next season.

Derek Davis

BLUES Player of the Year Richard Wright vowed he, and the team, will be even better next season.

Sporting a black eye courtesy of a training ground collision with Pim Balkestein, Wright has backed new boss Roy Keane to repeat the success he has already had at Sunderland.

He said: “We have to be positive after bringing in an experienced manager who has done it before - he has got promotion and taken a team into the Premier League before - and us as players know we have to work hard for the shirt.

“There is a great owner and a great manager and as players it is down to us to put on performances.

“The manager has made it clear if we don't we won't play - it's as simple as that.”

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The former England player, who won promotion with the Blues in his first spell at Town, played in all 46 league games this season and last night picked up the Official Supporters Club Player of the Year accolade to go with the Players' Player award.

Second place went to David Wright, with Gareth McAuley third. But Richard Wright won't rest on his laurels.

Wright said: “I never get complacent. After a dodgy start at the beginning of the season I'm feeling good about my football towards the end but I want to build on that. I want to get better and better. I was fortunate to play a full season, which was a target, but I have to build on that.

“I look forward and hopefully there will be more success with this football club. That is what I desperately want as a player and I take nothing for granted.”

Wright was unable to keep a clean sheet against the Sky Blues when Clinton Morrison beat him from close range but Wright was pleased with his team's first-half showing with goals from Giovani dos Santos and Pablo Counago.

He said: “We had in our minds we didn't want it to be an end-of-season thing and we wanted to finish in style.

“Although we were under the cosh a little we played some great stuff, created numerous chances and scored the two first-half goals.

“The second half was always going to be a case where they put us under more pressure but we weathered the storm and came out with a result. We were frustrated that we didn't kill the game.”

The ex-Arsenal, Everton and West Ham keeper has been impressed with the instant impact made by new boss Roy Keane and first team coach Tony Loughlan.

He said: “Sometimes when there is a change it takes time to get things going but it has not here.

“The manager has said one or two things and put his point across and I believe that has shown in games. We have had two tough games but we have produced performances.

“The way everything is set out we know exactly what we are doing day in day out and what is expected of us.”