Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 March 2018

'I have no one to blame but myself if axe falls'

Ipswich Town 1
Swansea City 3

Roy Keane saw his Ipswich side lose their fifth league game in a row in front of another diappointing crowd at Portman Road. Photo: Getty Images
Roy Keane saw his Ipswich side lose their fifth league game in a row in front of another diappointing crowd at Portman Road. Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Holland

THE SPECTRE of Andy D'Urso returned to haunt Roy Keane at Portman Road on Saturday as 10 years after the referee was chased into a corner of Old Trafford by the raging Corkman, he denied Ipswich a crucial penalty as they fell to an unlucky defeat to Swansea.

The loss was Ipswich's eighth in 10 games and their fifth in succession in the Championship -- they are languishing 17th in the table -- and heaps more pressure on the under-fire manager, who admitted his position is in jeopardy.

And it was D'Urso whose decision could ultimately cost Keane his job, a decade after the duo's infamous altercation during Manchester United's clash with Middlesbrough. Then, the raging Red Devils skipper led Jaap Stam, Gary Neville, David Beckham and Nicky Butt in objecting furiously to his decision to award a penalty to Juninho.

The image haunted the official for much of his career, but Keane refused to criticise the Essex man after he ignored Carlos Edwards' 88th-minute appeals and Swansea swept up the field and killed the game off with Craig Beattie's second goal.


"The official didn't cost us the result," he said. "Let's not try to find another excuse for us losing the match. It would be easy but it would be wrong."

Keane kept his players in the dressing-room for a long period after the game, where memories of Wednesday's Carling Cup victory over West Brom were quickly forgotten.

And although he described his side's performance as "unacceptable", the Corkman is well aware that the buck stops with him. "If you're losing matches, the pressure builds and ultimately the person who pays the price is the manager. That's life," he said.

"I'm not really sure (what the future holds). My job now is to focus and get the players ready for next weekend.

"That's all I know. You'd have to ask them (the board), I'm under contract until the summer. I'd love to finish that out. We've had a difficult few months, we've had decisions like you saw today, injuries, our captain getting sick last night but we can't keep making excuses. As the manager it's my responsibility and if I'm not given that time then I'll have no one to blame but myself.

"Of course (I'm up for the challenge). We're all frustrated when we lose but I want to see the job out, at least until the summer. I probably need to receive criticism and eight defeats in 10 games is unacceptable."

Ipswich forged ahead through Andros Townsend, but woeful defending allowed Beattie in for a brace either side of a scrambled strike from Joe Allen. Keane has seen injury and suspension unsettle his back four but he could offer no excuses for their showing.

"We've got to do better," he said. "We've got no one to blame but ourselves, in terms of our defending, the chances we missed and not dealing with the setback of their first goal.

"Their first goal was soft and the second was comical, but I had the same conversation last week (after losing at Norwich). It's like Groundhog Day. We're doing the same things over and over again and I'm saying the same things over and over again."

Irish Independent

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