Blues in need of a Boro boost

IPSWICH Town fans are looking to manager Roy Keane to bring the smiles back to Portman Road.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town fans are looking to manager Roy Keane to bring the smiles back to Portman Road.

England followers are full of optimism after Fabio Capello's men romped to a 5-1 win over Croatia that stamped their passport for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

A two-week international break ends on Saturday when the Blues visit Middlesbrough in the Coca-Cola Championship. And now Blues supporters are anxious to see Keane's men get back on track.

Just two points from their opening five games see Ipswich travel to the Riverside one place off the foot of the table.

The signing of Carlos Edwards, Grant Leadbitter and Liam Rosenior since the home draw with Preston North End will have raised hopes of on improvement, starting at relegated Middlesbrough.

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And Keane's record while in charge at Sunderland points to more successful times ahead for the Tractor Boys.

Like every club struggling to gain results on the field, it is not easy to keep morale high, and it is Keane and his men who can remove the black cloud that is currently hanging over Portman Road.

Gone are the homely days when former chairman David Sheepshanks was running affairs with his successor and club owner Marcus Evans running a much tighter ship and one where employees are being kept on their toes.

Keane can raise spirits with a good result at Middlesbrough and then a convincing victory over Nottingham Forest in a home league fixture on Tuesday night.

A winning run is needed to bring the smiles back to Portman Road - internally and among the hordes of dedicated Ipswich Town fans.

Reports in the north east suggest that Gareth McAuley could be facing Ipswich on Saturday with Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate set to complete a loan deal for the defender today.

Southgate made a �1million bid just before the transfer window closed last week, and after losing Robert Huth to Stoke he could make any move for the Northern Ireland international permanent when the window opens again in January.

The Blues could have Jaime Peters available for selection again after an ankle injury.