Keane won't panic over keepers

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane is once again keeping his fingers crossed that he suffers no more goalkeeping nightmares.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane is once again keeping his fingers crossed that he suffers no more goalkeeping nightmares.

The Blues boss received some relatively good news yesterday when scans revealed that Brian Murphy should be back in action within three weeks.

He sustained ankle ligament damage when warming up before Sunday's 1-1 draw at Leicester having been picked on the bench following clearance to play following his move from Bohemians.

Keane has the option of delving into the loan market to provide temporary back-up to current number one Arran Lee-Barrett.

But the manager is prepared to take the same gamble he did in December when he went the whole of the month with just 18-year-old raw rookie Ian McLoughlin as cover.

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Lee-Barrett, whose current contract is up on January 21 but will surely be offered an extension, has been playing exceptionally well and Keane is happy to risk having just one experienced keeper until Murphy recovers.

Every time Lee-Barrett makes a save in training Keane will be relieved to see him get back on to his feet.

If his current main man does go lame in the next three weeks at least Keane has the scope to hunt round for short-term experienced cover.

But he said: “This puts us back in the same scenario as before Brian became available.

“We have Arran and young Ian (McLoughlin) and we will stay with that until Brian is back.

“We're hoping Brian will be fit again in two weeks or so.

“We've been unlucky with keepers, but I did fear it could have been longer so we'll sit tight and wait for Brian to return.”

Scans have shown a partial tear of Murphy's ankle ligament, after early fears that the injury would be more long-term.

Summer midfield signing Colin Healy is on his way to Falkirk on loan for the remainder of the season with two or three younger players set to follow him away from Portman Road on a temporary basis.

A number of clubs showed an interest in Healy, who has a Town contract that runs to June 2011.

Keane has gone on record many times to say that his squad is too big, and the likes of Jack Ainsley (just returned from a loan at Rushden), Ed Upson (just recovered from a virus) and Reggie Lambe (just returned from playing for Bermuda at Under-21 level) are poised to join Liam Trotter, Tommy Smith and Healy in going out on loan.

Keane's priority is to reduce his playing staff, but he admits that there are one or two positions he would like to strengthen, and if a right player comes along he will show an interest.

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