Keane tempts fan back

IT'S been nearly 18 months since I've been to Portman Road - I gave up my regular trips just before Christmas 2007.

Paul Geater

IT'S been nearly 18 months since I've been to Portman Road - I gave up my regular trips just before Christmas 2007.

I could no longer justify shelling out �30 a fortnight and coming away from the ground feeling more miserable than when I walked in.

Nothing that has happened at Portman Road this season made me change my mind - and it looked like I'd go the whole season without going to a single match.

That is until Jim Magilton was shown the door and Roy Keane took over. I'd said I wouldn't go while Magilton was still managing the team - and with all the excitement surrounding Keane's appointment I felt I owed it to the club and myself to give him a chance.

After last week's great performance against Cardiff I managed to persuade myself that Keane's gold-dust would be sprinkled over the club and that Coventry were cruising for a bruising. I was in no doubt they were going to be thrashed!

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I'm not a betting man. I've never been in a bookies and a weekly ticket for the National Lottery is all I usually spend.

But when I said Town would score a hatful against Coventry, a colleague told me to put my money where my mouth was - so I went to the Ladbrokes kiosk under the Greene King stand to place a bet, well a couple!

I put �1 on Town to win 5-0 at 50-1 and another �1 on a 6-0 scoreline at 100-1. Well, I wouldn't have wanted to lose out with a last-minute sixth!

Two goals in two minutes during the first half had me wondering whether I'd be collecting �50 or �100 - but in the end it was not to be as the half-time promise spluttered out during a second half when the biggest cheers came with the scorelines from The Valley.

In the end 2-1 was a reasonable scoreline, at least Town bowed out with a victory.

But Keane and everyone else connected with the club will go away on their holidays aware that there is much to do if a real promotion bid is to be launched next season.

Some players looked the real deal - Counago, Stead, and Giovanni looked real class - but many left the ground feeling others had played their last game for the Tractor Boys.

I haven't gone out to buy a season ticket but I will probably go along to some early season matches and see if the team is worth sticking with again.

But I shan't be wasting my money in the betting stall again - I don't want to come away feeling disappointed if they win by the wrong score. I want to feel happy if they win by any score at all!