So what's going wrong, Roy?

IF Marcus Evans needed a reminder of what a special football club he has bought, the pre-match Sir Bobby Robson reception must have been his confirmation.

IF Marcus Evans needed a reminder of what a special football club he has bought, the pre-match Sir Bobby Robson reception must have been his confirmation.

But if he requires evidence of the deep-seated troubles plunging Ipswich Town into crisis, the following 90 minutes will have surely emphasised the point.

The humiliating capitulation to Newcastle United means Roy Keane's faltering team sits next to bottom of the Championship after the club's worst ever start to a league campaign.

Fans were today pondering the unimaginable - could pre-season promotion contenders Ipswich Town be relegated?


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Before kick-off, Saturday had been an occasion charged with emotion and pride. Portman Road stood as one to honour Sir Bobby Robson, a principal architect of the club's fine history.

But at the final whistle, the doom and gloom surrounding a miserable start to the season had thickened.

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Today, The Evening Star asks ten key questions of secretive owner Evans and boss Keane.

Town's manager has spent several million pounds on new recruits since assuming control at Portman Road but his squad has failed to gel.

Of more concern to many supporters are the starlets who have been cast aside - including Jordan Rhodes, who was flogged to Huddersfield, and Owen Garvan, who does not appear to figure in Keane's plans.

Sections of the Portman Road faithful are beginning to question whether the new regime fully understands Ipswich's traditions of producing and blooding young talent.

The difficulty of the challenge in hauling Town away from the bottom of the table is immense - tomorrow they travel to Sheffield United with the odds firmly stacked against Ipswich picking up three points.

Should the Blues lose again, the chances of Ipswich emulating East Anglian rivals Norwich City in plummeting to the third tier of English football will continue to grow.

Canaries supremo Delia Smith, who was there to honour Sir Bobby at last week's thanks giving service in Durham, will surely be enjoying Ipswich's miserable plight. But she of all people knows how a bad start can lead to relegation come spring.

However, despite Town's troubles, Those Were the Days fanzine editor Phil Ham called for calm.

He said: “Talk in some quarters of another change of manager is far too premature - that's the way to turn into a Norwich or Charlton.”

Join the debate on-line and in print - have you say by visiting www.eveningstar.co.uk or by writing to Newsdesk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

With debate now raging over the crisis at Portman Road, The Evening Star has asked ten questions each of mystery owner Marcus Evans and firebrand manager Roy Keane

Roy Keane:

1) Why is your team performing so badly and what will you do to remedy the situation?

2) What mistakes do you feel you have made in this dreadful start to the campaign?

3) Is your own team of coaches performing as you would want?

4) Do you know what the spirit is like in the club as a whole - how closely are you connected to it?

5) Who are you talking to about issues - is it just the owner, remotely in London, and the chief executive at Portman Road?

6) You are known as a passionate manager - why did you sit back in your chair as the Newcastle goals flew in?

7) Can you explain why one of the club's great assets, Owen Garvan, isn't playing while badly-performing newcomers are still in the team?

8) Can you explain your decision to sell Jordan Rhodes when the club desperately needs firepower? What do you think of Town's current crop of youngsters?

9) What is the situation with one of the club's most talented and loyal servants, David Wright - why is he not playing?

10) Are you sad that, under your watch, talented youngster Shane Supple quit the game?

Marcus Evans:

1) You are known to have asked for Roy Keane to be given time to weave his magic - has he still got your full backing?

2) Why do you believe ITFC has slumped to such a low under Roy Keane?

3) Is it now time to abandon your anonymity and lead the club from the front?

4) Do you believe your appointment of a chief executive without any football pedigree will bear fruit in the long term?

5) How are Roy Keane and the chief executive getting on?

6) Are you aware of any difficulties in the working atmosphere at Portman Road?

7) Did the manager consult you about the sale of Jordan Rhodes?

8) Will cash be made available for transfers in January?

9) Do you now believe the club is in a relegation fight?

10) Have you considered, at any time, selling your stake in Ipswich Town Football Club?

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