Monday 19 February 2018

Keane laments familiar failings

Nick Alexander



Ipswich manager Roy Keane admitted his side's form was "unacceptable" after Swansea came from behind to win 3-1. Keane's men forged ahead through Andros Townsend but woeful defending allowed Craig Beattie in for a brace either side of a scrambled strike from Joe Allen.

Town have lost eight of their last 10 Championship games and not even a place in the last four of the Carling Cup has been enough to shelter Keane from criticism. The former Manchester United captain 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 then I'm pretty sure I had the same conversation last week [after the defeat 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. I probably need to receive criticism and eight defeats in 10 games is unacceptable. I bought players in the summer and I brought players here on loan."

Referee Andy D'Urso played a key role in the 88th minute when -- with the score at 2-1 -- he waved away calls for a penalty after Carlos Edwards appeared to be tripped by Mark Gower. Swansea broke away and killed the game off within 30 seconds when Beattie scored a stunning third.

But Keane refused to criticise the official. He said: "The official didn't cost us the result today. Let's not try to find another excuse for us losing the match. It would be easy but it would be wrong."

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers also defended D'Urso's decision while heaping praise on his high-flying team. "Having seen a replay, I can see why it wasn't given," he said. There was a slight touch but maybe he [the referee] is thinking their guy can go through, get his shot in and finish.

"There's no doubt there was contact but I don't think it was a turning point in the game. There's no doubt we got a bit of luck in that moment but I don't think anyone could begrudge us the win.

"I've got a great belief in the group and the players and we've shown we can be competitive. If we're still there in February or March, because of the way we play we'll have a very good chance."


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