Keane 'more chilled' in Suffolk

ROY Keane has “chilled out” as a manager - that is the opinion of Ipswich Town front-man Jon Stead.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

ROY Keane has “chilled out” as a manager - that is the opinion of Ipswich Town front-man Jon Stead.

Although Town are rock bottom of the Championship table, with no wins from their first 11 fixtures, Stead insists that the Irishman is coping well with the pressure.

“I only played under him for a very short time at Sunderland, so it's difficult for me to make comparisons,” explained Stead, who moved from Sunderland to Sheffield United before his eventual switch to Ipswich.

“But I think he's more chilled out now, maybe. He's a little bit more open to suggestions from players, but otherwise he's the same manager.

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“He handled a lot of pressure as a player, and I think he's coping well with the pressure as a manager.

“And I don't agree with those who say that Roy Keane is a manager who rules by fear. I don't think there is any different fear from him to Jim Magilton (Keane's predecessor).

“If things are going wrong, and you are not doing well, he will let you know, the same as any manager would do. I have no problem with any of that,” added Stead.

A �600,000 purchase from Sheffield United just over a year ago, Stead responded with 13 goals in 41 senior appearances for Town last season.

But those free-scoring days are over, at least for the time being, just as Town have struggled in vain so far to record a league win.

Keane's men will be hoping to finally notch their first league win of the campaign, at the 12th attempt, at the expense of visiting Swansea City on Saturday.

“It's been a nightmarish start, there's no getting away from that,” continued Stead.

“All the players have under-achieved, and we all know this. But we feel that we are getting very close now.

“I know that you can't keep saying - “we're nearly there, we're nearly there” - every week, but it's true.

“I certainly do not feel that we are in a relegation battle. I still feel we should be in the top half of the table.

“There is still definitely a gap that we can bridge quite quickly to move up the table.

“However, I don't think there are any clubs that are too big to go down. If you don't apply yourself correctly, and we haven't done that yet, then there is always that danger. You just have to look at Leeds or Newcastle.”

Stead has only played one full 90 minutes this term - the 1-1 home draw against Nottingham Forest on September 15.

He has appeared as a second-half substitute in Town's last two games, at Sheffield United and Barnsley.

“Last season, I started well and I was playing regularly. I was also scoring goals,” continued Stead.

“But this season has been very stop-start, and I know that I have to wait for my chances.

“Sometimes in my career I have gone knocking on managers' doors, but I haven't knocked on the door of this manager!

“You have to trust Roy Keane's judgement. He knows his players.

“I feel we can play a lot better. It's been a poor start to the season, me included,” said Stead.

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