ROY KEANE ON IPSWICH TOWN: “I acted a bit. It was a sleepy town and I was thinking ‘I’ll rock this place’.”

Roy Keane leaves the pitch following Ipswich Town's 1-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest in January

Roy Keane leaves the pitch following Ipswich Town's 1-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest in January 2011. He was sacked soon afterwards. Photo: ALEX FAIRFULL - Credit: Archant

There’s plenty of trademark bile, but equal amounts of thoughtful reflection as Roy Keane dedicates an entire 30-page chapter of his latest autobiography to the turbulent 18 months he spent as manager of Ipswich Town.

You have to pick your way through the swear words from the enigmatic and opinion-dividing Irishman as he lifts the lids on spats with former Town manager Jim Magilton, as well as players Jon Walters, Ben Thatcher and Pablo Counago.

There’s plenty of honest self-analysis too and it makes for fascinating reading.

He admits to making mistakes over player recruitment and sales, treating too many people ‘like something on the bottom of my shoe’ as well as tactical errors.

There is generally always a subtle, or not-so-subtle, caveat though.


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Owner Marcus Evans is praised, but former chief executive Simon Clegg receives heavy criticism.

Keane had experienced players lined up. It was the club that did not deliver them.

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His staff gave him duff advice at times and he should have trusted his gut feelings more.

He valued transfer flops such as Tamas Priskin far less than what the club paid for them.

You get the picture.

The book officially goes on sale tomorrow, but it leaked after Tesco stores in Burnage, Manchester and Martlesham, Ipswich erroneously sold several copies before quickly removing them from their shelves.

One of football’s biggest enigmas, Keane – whose first autobiography was released in 2002 – was in charge at Portman Road from April 2009 to January 2011.

Having previously led Sunderland to the Championship title, he admits he didn’t have the same excitement when he first arrived. ‘I don’t f***** like blue. My biggest rivals were blue. Is that childish?’

A ‘mind-boggling’ amount of draws prevented any sort of momentum. ‘We were nearly a good team’.

He also admits he lost the support of staff after a change in their bonus structure and was probably too hard on players at times. He was eventually sacked by Evans after gesturing angrily towards critical supporters following a 1-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Having finished 15th in the 2009/10 campaign, Keane left the Blues three points above the Championship drop zone. His 81-game managerial record was a balanced 28 wins, 25 draws and 28 defeats.

“I don’t think I’m a bad manager, but at Ipswich I managed badly,” says Keane. “I spoke to some people like something on the bottom of my shoe.”

The 43-year-old, now assistant to Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert with the Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa respectively, adds: “At Ipswich, I sometimes said the wrong things. Maybe I was trying too hard.

“You get the experience by making mistakes, so I have to go easy on myself.

“At Ipswich, I acted a bit. It was a sleepy town and I was thinking ‘I’ll f****** rock this place’. It backfired a bit.”

– Roy Keane: The Second Half goes on sale tomorrow for £10.99.

KEANE ON HIS TIME AT IPSWICH TOWN

ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH OWNER MARCUS EVANS AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE SIMON CLEGG: “We were never in the same room. There was the occasional video link-up, but the three of us never met. You need to see people’s eyes.”

ON HOLDING TALKS WITH EVANS WHILE JIM MAGILTON WAS STILL MANAGER: “I was being touted for a job that was already occupied. But I didn’t feel too bad about that. I felt he’d let me down with a player when I was managing Sunderland. He was supposed to take Tommy Miller off me We’d agreed a deal, but Ipswich pulled out.”

ON HIS FIRST DAY IN CHARGE: “I didn’t feel the excitement (that I had felt) going up to Sunderland. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t. I feel bad even admitting that.”

ON HIS STAFF: “It had the feel of a family club that didn’t need breaking up. But that was exactly what was needed. My eyes weren’t lying to me; some of the staff at Ipswich weren’t up to it.”

ON SUPPORTERS: “Our first session was open to the fans. But nobody came. My first day – you’d have thought a couple of school kids would have been dragged in by dad or granddad. But there wasn’t one person watching.”

ON HIS HATRED OF THE COLOUR BLUE: “Then there was the blue training kit. I don’t f***** like blue. City were blue, Rangers were blue. My biggest rivals were blue. Is that childish?”

ON WINNING HIS FIRST GAMES AGAINST CARDIFF AND COVENTRY AT THE BACK END OF THE 2008/09 SEASON: “Cardiff could have beaten us 10-0. I wish they had (Town won 3-0). Then I’d have thought, ‘This is a rebuilding job, this’. Instead I was thinking ‘We don’t have to do much here.”

ON TACTICAL ERRORS: “Twenty draws in one season – it’s still mind-boggling. And we had been winning so many of those games.

“I should have used substitutions better – ‘Get an extra defender on.’ But I thought, ‘It’s only Doncaster’, and they equalised.”

ON SELLING JORDAN RHODES TO HUDDERSFIELD: “I still get criticised for selling Jordan, and I have to accept that. The mistake myself and the staff made was we discussed what he couldn’t do, instead of what he could do.”

ON SEVERAL PLAYER FALL-OUTS: “I acted a bit. It was a sleepy town and I was thinking ‘I’ll f***** rock this place. I’ll bring them to the army (pre-season training camp). It backfired. I made the point about Ellis Short talking to me like I was something on the bottom of his show. I think I spoke like that to some people at Ipswich.”

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