Thursday 24 August 2017

Keane moving closer to exit in unacceptable run

Graham Chase

Roy Keane's Ipswich future is out of his hands after his team's miserable run extended with a defeat that relieved the pressure on Preston's Darren Ferguson.

Keane's team have fallen away from the play-off places after an alarming run of six straight defeats, with nine losses in 11 games, and while there does not appear to be the appetite to sack him, neither have there been any talks about extending his contract beyond the end of the season.

Keane, who took charge at Portman Road in April last year, maintains he wants to carry on but accepts that he might not be given the chance.

"It is out of my hands," Keane said. "You won't believe how much this is hurting. I'm a proud man and don't like getting beaten but I've been in football since I was eight years of age and I know the run we are on is not acceptable.

"We are in a relegation battle at the moment. We try and win every game but this was primarily about not getting beaten and we are being dragged down into it. It's not about having good players at the moment, it's about having good characters.

"The first half was fine, but a game is about 90 minutes. We got into some good positions but we don't seem capable of scoring many goals and that puts you under pressure and once again we gave another soft goal away."

With Alex Ferguson looking on, it might not have been as significant as his famous FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest but it must have felt like it for his son Darren, whose side had failed to win in their previous seven games.

Still deep in relegation trouble himself, Ferguson has sympathy for his former United team-mate.

"Roy Keane is a survivor and a strong character," he said. "Don't worry about Roy, he will be fine. That [victory] has been a long time coming for us but it's a great result. We will try to get a deal done permanently for [goalscorer] Iain [Hume]. He has come in and done well and the fans love him."

Sunday Independent

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