Keane will give us extra edge - Wright

PLAYER of the year Richard Wright admits having new boss Roy Keane in the dug out this afternoon will give the team an extra edge against promotion chasing Cardiff City.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

PLAYER of the year Richard Wright admits having new boss Roy Keane in the dug out this afternoon will give the team an extra edge against promotion chasing Cardiff City.

While saddened at Jim Magilton's departure Wright, who has skippered the Blues in the past four matches, has been instantly impressed with Keane.


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He said: “His record as a player is there for all to see and he has a proven track record as a manager. He has a great presence and in his first day here he made an instant impact with what he said and just being around the place.

“We were always going to be focused on the last two games of the season because we are all professionals here, but with the new manager coming in - it does give it an extra edge.

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“Players will be looking to impress the manager in the week or two that is left before the end of the season.

“Players will be playing for their futures. You don't know whether he will look to bring in new players or not but the first thing for all of us here is to perform in the two games and aim to take six points.”

The players trained on the Portman Road pitch yesterday (FRID) before setting off for Cardiff and is relishing the party atmosphere expected today.

It will be City's last ever league game, although they will have a play-off match to come at Ninian Park, and that will all add to the occasion.

Wright said: “There is going to be a massive spotlight on the Cardiff game. It's their last league match at Ninian Park and the spotlight will be on them and also on us because of the new manager.

“It's great, as a player you would rather be involved in games like this. It's going to be big stage, a special game for the Cardiff players and for our manager, so bring it on.”

Wright was brought back to Portman Road by Magilton who he had played alongside in the promotion year and hopes he soon gets fixed up again.

He said: “It's never easy to see a manager leave a club, especially someone who has brought you in and showed faith in you and got behind you. Jim gave me the opportunity to play again but changes happen in football.

“Jim won't be out of football for long. He's got a massive passion for the game and he proved that in his time as a player and manager here.

“Personally I thank him because he gave me an opportunity to play here again and I wish him the very best of luck for the future. He stuck by me at the start of the season when I had a difficult stage and showed the confidence he had in me and I really appreciated that.”

Wright picked up the players' player of year award on Tuesday in his first year back at the club after signing from West Ham.

He said: “To get the award from your fellow players is always fantastic. I really appreciated it, especially in my first season back here and again, I have to thank Jim Magilton for giving the chance to come back to this club and play regular first team football again.”

Roy Keane will take charge of his first Town game with a raft of injury problems.

Jon Walters is out of the trip to Cardiff with a jarred ankle and won't figure next week against Coventry City. Centre half Gareth McAuley continues to be troubled by a hamstring problem and won't feature either.

Ben Thatcher is out with knee ligament damage and with David Wright also a long term casualty, Keane will be down to the bare bones in defence so Matt Richards is recalled into the squad, with Jaime Peters looking to keep his place at full back.

Squads.

Ipswich Town: Wright, Bartosz, Bruce, Peters, Campo, Balkestein, Richards, Shumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Quinn, Norris, Haynes, dos Santos, Lisbie, Wickham, Counago, Stead.

Cardiff City: Heaton, Taylor, McNaughton, Comminges, R Johnson, Gyepes, Kennedy, Burke, Rae, Ledley, Parry, McCormack, Bothroyd, Purse, Matthews, McPhail, Chopra, Whittingham, E Johnson, Quincy.

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)

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