Keane plays down Connor's role

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane has played down the role of wonder kid, Connor Wickham, in tonight's FA Youth Cup fourth round tie against Arsenal at Barnet's Underhill.

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane has played down the role of wonder kid, Connor Wickham, in tonight's FA Youth Cup fourth round tie against Arsenal at Barnet's Underhill.

Wickham has attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs this season, having become a regular feature in Keane's 18-man senior squad.

But this evening the 16-year-old striker is set for a rare appearance in the under-18 team.

"This game won't have an effect on his life, or decide his career,"


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insisted Keane.

"It's just a game of football and it should be enjoyed. It's a big game (tonight), but this match didn't influence my selection over the weekend.

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"If a fit 16-year-old like him can't be involved in two games in four days, then something is wrong!" added Keane. Wickham was introduced as a 64th minute substitute during Saturday's 3-2 win over Coventry Town are hopeful that Wickham will sign professional forms to stay at Portman Road when he celebrates his 17th birthday, on March 31.

But Premier League clubs are also keeping an eye on him, including tonight's opponents Arsenal. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger could be an interested spectator at Underhill.

Carl Marston will be sending updates via Twitter during tonight's FA Youth Cup tie against Arsenal. You can follow him at Carl_Marston on www.twitter.com

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