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Murray’s mint

PUBLISHED: 09:42 11 August 2010

Ronan Murray celebrates his goal at Exeter last night

Ronan Murray celebrates his goal at Exeter last night

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ROY Keane admits teenage striker Ronan Murray may have just played his way into his first team plans after the Irishman came off the bench to help Ipswich Town progress at the Exeter in the Carling Cup first round last night.

ROY Keane admits teenage striker Ronan Murray may have just played his way into his first team plans after the Irishman came off the bench to help Ipswich Town progress at the Exeter in the Carling Cup first round last night.

The 18-year-old’s looping header first pulled Town level in the 63rd minute and he was then heavily involved in twice setting David Norris to seal a 3-2 extra-time victory in an entertaining encounter.

And Keane – who yesterday celebrated his 39th birthday – was full of praise for his young striker’s contribution.

Commenting on his Republic of Ireland U19 international, he said: “Of all the strikers at our club, he is probably the most natural goalscorer we’ve got. It wasn’t even a chance (Murray’s goal) and that’s what good strikers do.

“He will always sniff out a chance and he now has an opportunity of being involved at the weekend (Championship home game against Burnley).”

Meanwhile, Keane played down any conspiracy theories following the surprise omission of Jon Walters from the squad last night.

With transfer speculation having gathered pace that the striker was on his way to Premier League Stoke City some assumed his departure was imminent.

However, Keane revealed that his key forward had pulled out of the squad – which was reduced to just 17 men – on the morning of the match due to a sudden virus.

“He reported to us unwell this morning so that’s why we were short on the bench.

“If he is any closer to leaving I don’t know anything about it.”

It is no secret that Keane is desperate to add to his injury-ravaged squad and the Irishman revealed that fresh faces could arrive at Portman Road by the end of the week.

He said: “We’re pretty close with one or two and there could be some loan deals by Thursday or Friday. We’ll know more about that tomorrow (Wednesday).”

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Ipswich Town new boy Dominic Iorfa believes his strongest position, in the long-term, will be centre-back.

Three of Ipswich Town’s summer signings are struggling to be fit for next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will be restricted to signing a striker on loan due to the fact the Blues can’t compete financially with some of the ‘bonkers’ transfer fees being spent in the Championship.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

Huge queues are building up outside Portman Road this morning for today’s annual Ipswich Town Open Day.

The second tier season starts next Friday, however, clubs are working frantically to add to their squads, ahead of a long campaign. Several deals HAVE already been done though and CHRIS BRAMMER picks out six of the best.

Nearly 60 per cent of Ipswich Town fans would like to see Luke Chambers start in the heart of the Blues defence, alongside Adam Webster, when the Championship season begins next Saturday.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he is prepared to play a waiting game to sign the right striker before the transfer window shuts.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy won’t sacrifice results to satisfy supporters’ thirst for more attractive football at Portman Road this season.

Colchester United manager John McGreal insists his players still have a lot of room for improvement, ahead of the U’s League Two opener at Accrington Stanley, next Saturday.

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