Keane will offload players in January

R0Y Keane is expected to off-load a number of players when the January transfer window opens.

Elvin King

R0Y Keane is expected to off-load a number of players when the January transfer window opens.

Deals are already in motion that will see the decks cleared at Portman Road.

The Town manager is happy to give players who have been unable to get into his team a chance of playing regular first team football elsewhere.

Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg confirmed this today in a half-term interview when he insisted that Keane is the right man to take the club into the Premier League and that the club's worst start to any season was not down to bad management.

Now in his eighth month in the job, former Great Britain Olympic Association chief executive Clegg says that he now feels much better educated in football matters and better qualified to speak on behalf of the club.

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“We are working at the moment on players leaving the club in the New Year,” he said.

“I'm not saying how many but we plan to button up the deals before Christmas so that those involved have a mind set of what the immediate future holds for them.

“There will be sales and loans, and the deals might not be announced until the transfer window opens.”

Clegg hinted that there could be movement in the other direction as well, but confirmed that it is not a case of players having to leave before others can come in.

He explained: “There is no budget as such, but if the manager feels he has a weakness he can bring it to owner Marcus Evans and myself for discussion.

“Roy is responsible and knows that he cannot have an ever increasing squad, but it is not a case of players having to leave before others can come in.”

Players like David Healy, Ben Thatcher, Liam Trotter plus some of the younger fringe players - and possibly big money signings Tamas Priskin and Lee Martin - could be on their way out with Kevin Lisbie already earmarked to return from a loan spell at Colchester next month.

Giving his backing to Keane, Clegg went on: “Without doubt he is still the right man for the job - you only have to look at our improved performances.

“We know we should never have been in the position that we were, but that was down to indeterminate circumstances and bad luck and not bad management.”

And talking of his own position, Clegg - the official mouthpiece of the reclusive Evans - added: “It is still a steep learning curve, but I feel much better qualified to speak on behalf of the club.

“We are working well as a threesome - the owner, manager and myself - and that relationship could not be stronger.

“From my perspective it couldn't be better with the owner bringing me here to do a job that I'm sure will be achieved.”

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