Keane? He's as scary as a shark!

IAN Holloway today predicted a wildly successful managerial career for Roy Keane at Portman Road - if the Blues hierarchy give him enough time.

IAN Holloway today predicted a wildly successful managerial career for Roy Keane at Portman Road - if the Blues hierarchy give him enough time.

Extrovert boss Holloway praised the dignified way Keane has handled himself this season and revealed that he has no doubts that the former Manchester United midfielder will turn into a successful Ipswich manager.

Holloway brings his Blackpool side to Portman Road today for a Championship fixture (kick-off 3pm) having led his unfashionable Lancashire-based side to sixth in the table.

He vividly recalls his battles with Keane on the pitch and said: “Roy was phenomenal. He has those eyes. It's like a shark. When you look in a shark's eye you never know whether he is going to buy you a drink or eat you, and Roy is exactly the same.

“He can be scary when you've got to mark him. He scored three against me and all I could see was his shorts running away from me. It was the scariest thing ever. I did have a bad groin but I felt like I was carrying an anvil trying to chase him.

“Roy is a born winner and a born leader and sometimes his methods take some getting used to.

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“I strongly suggest to the Ipswich people that they start doing what he wants in the way he wants because I wouldn't like to upset him.”

“You don't have the characteristics that he has and not get it right eventually.

“I think he has shown fantastic dignity throughout a losing run that would have killed most people. This shows his character and I have nothing but admiration for him.”

Holloway voiced his disproval at opposing fans around the country who have had a go at Keane after a start to the season that has seen just two Town victories in 20 league games.

“He will build a team in his likeness that will be as good as what he was,” added Holloway. “There is no doubt that fella will be a successful manager.

“Fans who invented the chant 'You're getting sacked in the morning' should have a bit of empathy with the fella in case he does.

“If a supporter was losing his job I wouldn't turn up on his doorstep shouting 'You're getting sacked'.

“What gives you the right to say that? It's pathetic. All I do know is go and look at Roy Keane's record.

“It's absolutely fantastic. One season with Sunderland and he took them straight up. Need I say more?

“How people can criticise I really don't know. It takes time as a manager and he hasn't had that yet.”

Holloway snapped up striker Billy Clarke from Town in the summer after the Cork-born player, who will be 22 on Sunday, was not offered a new Blues contract.

He spent the last months of his Town career out in the cold, and is disappointed to miss tomorrow's match because of a knee strain.

But he is looking forward to facing his former club in the third round of the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road on January 2, and said: “Apart from one of the Premier League big four, I wouldn't have wanted anyone else other than Ipswich in the cup.”