Stead all but ensures his future

Jon Stead all but ensured his Ipswich Town future with a man of the match display at Cardiff City.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

Jon Stead all but ensured his Ipswich Town future with a man of the match display at Cardiff City.

Stead set up two goals and nabbed one himself in the 3-0 win at Ninian Park and hopes that will be enough to be involved in the Blues promotion push next season.

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Stead said: “It was important for me to send the right message to the new manager and a couple of assists and a goal made me very happy.

“It turned into a comfortable win for us.”

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The 26-year-old revealed he and Keane had never fallen out at the Stadium of Light before being sold to Sheffield United for �750,000.

Stead said: “I had the chance to go to the Premiership and you have to give managers credit when they give you that opportunity because there are a lot of players who get held back.

“I had the chance to go to the Premier League and I scored goals and showed what I can do.

“Now, hopefully, I have done enough these season to get a chance under the new manager.

“I feel I have come a long way since my days at Sunderland so hopefully he will see that too.”

Keane made it clear he is keen to keep Stead at Ipswich after he came off the bench to change the course of the match.

He said: “That is what you want from your subs. Some subs sit on the bench and they day dream. You have to be ready to come on.

“Steady did well at Sheffield United and scored some god goal and I'm quite happy to have him at the club.

“Jon will know there are aspects of his game that can improve but then every player in the world, even the best, can improve on aspects.

“Jon is of that age now where he has that maturity and ahs had a few clubs. Hopefully you find the right club and hopefully Jon has with Ipswich.”

Stead, who moved from the Blades to Town for �600,000 in August, admitted he was delighted when he heard Roy Keane was to be Jim Magilton's replacement as manager.

He said: “I was pleased when I heard it was Roy. I knew his track record and what he could do with players.

“He is hard but he is fair. If you want a manager who is straight-talking with you, as sometimes there are a lot that beat round the bunch and you don't know where you stand with them, at least the gaffer you know exactly where you stand and that is all you can ask.”

Stead and Tommy Miller were able to give the inside track on Keane to their team-mates who were understandably filled with some trepidation.

Stead said: “I have told the lads that if you are late then the bus will leave you behind. The manager wants people who work hard, that are punctual and come into training every day like they a re coming in for their last day of their career.

“Everyone has to work hard and you could see that against Cardiff. It was a hard-working performance and in the end coming to a difficult place, why with all the celebrations and stuff, it was a good performance.

“The manager wanted us to spoil the party and we did that.”

The striker offered an insight to the manager and says he has not changed since his stint as Sunderland boss where he got them into the top flight at the first time of asking.

Stead said: “He is just the same on the training ground. I'm sure we will get to see more of him as the games go on.

“He is a very clever man who sits and observes and that is how he comes to conclusions.

“It is all very well saying you have done this or that in your career but he is the sort of man who judges you over five years or so, rather than a couple of weeks.

“You have to do it for him day in day out and that is what all the players have to do.”

And Stead revealed that Keane still oozes class with the ball in training.

He said: “He is out there every day on the training field and while Tony (Loughlan) takes most of the coaching sessions, he is there and if he feels he needs to add his input there is no stopping him.

“We always know he is watching.

“He gets involved in training and is a fantastic footballer and I doubt he will ever lose that.

“It is good having him the squares and things and he is still 100 per cent.”

Town wrecked the Ninian Park part for Cardiff and Stead told of how the pre-match team-talk worked.

He said: “The gaffer told us that while some people will be saying there is nothing to lose there is a game of football we can lose and

“Every one of us knows we are playing for our futures and while it was a great start he has told us that it is only the start and we have to do it every game and do it consistently.

“At times we have been good individuals but not a fantastic team and at this stage of the season we

Should not be as many points away from where we wanted to be and things needed to change regarding that.”

Town fans can see the new-look Town team on Sunday at home against Coventry City.

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