Celts in management

Crunch time for Keane as Ipswich boss

Roy Keane Ipswich Town manager

Roy Keane

The spotlight will be firmly on Roy Keane tonight when Ipswich face West Brom for a place in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup.

A promising start to the new campaign has fallen away in recent weeks with Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at newly promoted rivals Norwich City a sore one for Ipswich fans to accept.

Keane’s departure from Sunderland left many wondering if he had the mentality to cut it in management despite driving the Black Cats to promotion and retaining their Premiership status.

Speculation that he could walk out on Ipswich was never far from the surface last season when the club finished in mid-table after a dreadful start to the season.

Four league defeats on the bounce have intensified the pressure on the former Celtic midfielder but like his attitude on the park Keane doesn’t shy away from the obvious questions- especially when it concerns his own future.

Elusive Ipswich owner Marcus Evans appointed Keane as manager but the Irishman has admitted that it might not be the club owner who decides his fate.

“I ask myself every day do I think I’m capable of turning things around and the answer is yes,” Keane explained. “But it might be tomorrow, or it might be Thursday, when I think that I’m not the one who can turn things around.

“Then I’ll sit down with the owner and we will have that conversation but I’ve not felt it’s got to that stage, and it was the same last year when we didn’t win for two or three months.

“Do I think I am the man to turn it around, challenging for the top six? That is a question I ask even when we are winning matches.

“If I lose my job, then I shouldn’t be too upset, because it’s the nature of the game. We always know that time runs out on a manager, but with these young players they can always hope to get another game or another opportunity.

“The buck stops with the manager, and it’s the manager who pays the ultimate price. That’s the industry we are in; there’s no getting away from it and you have got to live with it.

“Over the last few months I’ve seen other managers, top managers who have achieved something in the game, like Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill, losing their jobs.

“They are managers who I have a lot of time for, and respect for, so if they are out of work I count my blessings that I’m still working. I count my blessings every day.

“But I know your days are numbered when you are losing matches.”

Darren O’Dea is unlikely to be available for tonight’s match after returning to Glasgow to be with his pregnant girlfriend Melissa Cheung.

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