Keane ready whatever the weather

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane has not allowed the snowy conditions in Suffolk to upset any preparations for his side's Championship game at Scunthorpe this afternoon.

Mike Bacon

Coca-cola Championship: Scunthorpe United v Ipswich Town, Glanford Park, today 3pm

Ready come hail or snow

Keane says his men are showing true grit

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane has not allowed the snowy conditions in Suffolk to upset any preparations for his side's Championship game at Scunthorpe this afternoon.

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While Ipswich may be blanketed in snow, further up the east coast, Scunthorpe has remained relatively snow-free, something Keane was quick to stress when pressed on the difficulties of preparing for a game that may be in doubt.

“You keep asking me about the weather, but the game is on as far as I'm concerned,” Keane said.

“We will be focussed on the game, we've trained well today, we have great indoor facilities. We're ready.”

Town look to extend their 10-match unbeaten run at Glanford Park, a ground that has good memories for the Blues, who won on their last visit.

Today they will be without influential duo, skipper Jon Walters and midfielder Grant Leadbitter, who both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season against Blackpool last week, and are serving one-match bans.

It's a predicament Keane could do without, but he expects other players to step up to the plate.

“Grant (Leadbitter) and Jon (Walters) are important players, of course they are,” Keane said.

“But it gives other players a chance. It gives them an opportunity to get into the starting XI.

“We've got a decent squad and had a good practice match during the week which saw David Norris come through. Connor Wickham scored, Colin Healy was the best player on the park.

“Listen, we're out of the bottom three now, the atmosphere is good and has been really good since the Newcastle game, where I admit we came up short.

“Of course we are drawing too many games, but I'm content with the way we are playing and content with our shape.”

And jokingly Keane added: “The lads even had their Christmas do last week, and as far as I know no-one got arrested.”

Who will play in place of Leadbitter and Walters is the number one question on most Town fans' lips as they travel north today, with Alan Quinn or Liam Trotter likely to fill Leadbitter's central midfield position.

Stern John, who started on the bench against Blackpool, could well be recalled to partner Jon Stead up front.

Keane said midfielder David Norris could have been included in today's squad, but wasn't quite ready just as yet.

“I don't need to take risks with David,” Keane said.

“I've got plenty of midfielders and he will have to fight for his place.”

And as for who would captain Ipswich today, Keane had a blunt message.

“I don't get all bogged down with the armband thing. I'll sleep on it.”

mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

Follow Mike Bacon at today's game on Twitter. Just go to www.twitter.com and search for Mike_Bacon, where he will bring his quirky-style LIVE thoughts on the game from a no-doubt wintry Glanford Park.

Today's likely squads

Scunthorpe: Murphy; Byrne, Mirfin, Jones, Williams; Thompson, O'Connor, J Wright, McCann, Hayes, Hooper, Lillis, A Wright, Spence, Sparrow, Woolford, Togwell, Forte.

Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett, Rosenior, McAuley, Delaney, Wright, Peters, Garvan, Colback, Quinn, Edwards, Stead, John, McLoughlin, Smith, Trotter, Wickham, Counago, Priskin, Healy.

Referee: Mr A Haines (Tyne and Wear)

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