First picture: Keane in Ipswich blue

IPSWICH Town's new manager Roy Keane today revealed his desire to lift the Blues back to the Premier League.

IPSWICH Town's new manager Roy Keane today revealed his desire to lift the Blues back to the Premier League.

Confirmed this morning as successor to Jim Magilton at Portman Road, Keane did just that with Sunderland in 2006/07 taking the Black Cats from the bottom to the top of the Coca-Cola Championship.

The 37-year-old former Republic of Ireland skipper, with 66 caps to his name, kept Sunderland in the Premier League in 2007/08 but after a disappointing start to the 2008/09 campaign, he stood down as boss in early December.

Two years younger than Magilton, Keane said: “Ipswich's owner and chief executive have impressed upon me their total focus on achieving a Premier League place at the earliest opportunity.

“And I can't wait to get started.

“I truly believe that I am joining a club that has the potential, ambition and infrastructure to once again be a top flight side.”

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Ipswich owner Marcus Evans has been working in the background for a number of weeks on changes to improve the Blues chances of realising his goal of Premier League football.

This culminated this week in the appointment of Simon Clegg as chief executive on Tuesday, the removal of Magilton yesterday and the appointment of Keane today.

Plans to keep Keane's appointment quiet overnight were scuppered when bookmakers refused to take more bets on Keane's appointment after a number of large wagers.

Keane will take charge of Town at Cardiff on Saturday and he was meeting his players today before taking a press conference at Portman Road this afternoon.

Evans is delighted to have Keane onboard. He said: “I am delighted that Roy has agreed to join us and we are completely aligned in our ambitions for Ipswich Town.

“He has extensive contacts in the game and is a proven winner who encourages his team to play the attractive football that Ipswich Town fans have come to expect.

“I believe he is the right man to take this club where we want to be - the Premier League.”

Clegg added: “The appointment of Roy Keane further demonstrates our commitment to help Ipswich Town achieve our aim of returning to the Premier League at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Roy has experienced promotion as Championship winners as a manager and, importantly then kept his side in English football's top flight and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Clegg confirmed that discussions had been going on for a while and that Bryan Klug was pencilled in to take charge at Cardiff if an appointment had been delayed.

“Marcus Evans was away for the previous two weeks, but I had had extensive discussions with him over strategic issues after the team has not performed to the level of our aspirations.

“In the recent pass along with Marcus we have become crystallised in our thinking and been through a rigorous and thorough process.

“And the decision to part with Jim has not been a knee-jerk reaction.”

Magilton was dismissed after failing to make the play-offs despite a �12million boost from Evans to boost the playing side.

Magilton, went back to his native Belfast on Tuesday because his mother is ill. He was told the news of his dismissal by telephone from Evans yesterday morning. Gorman was told personally by Clegg, who also spoke to special skills coach Steve Foley yesterday.

Manningtree-based Foley will be staying on at Portman Road although a final decision could rest with the new manager.

And reflecting on Magilton's reign, Clegg said: “Jim made a massive contribution both as a player and a manager.

“He was the fourth longest serving manager in the division and had nearly three complete seasons here.

“We're absolutely sure he's got a future in the game and the timing of this decision gives him the best possible opportunity of picking up another position before the start of next season.

“We wish him well and the club recognises the contribution he has made.”