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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).”

FA Youth Cup

Ipswich Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

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