Keane won't splash the cash

ROY Keane has stressed that while he has his eye on a couple of new players he has been pleasantly surprised at what he has found at Portman Road.

By Derek Davis

ROY Keane has stressed that while he has his eye on a couple of new players he has been pleasantly surprised at what he has found at Portman Road.

Keane will start his clean out next week but will also be looking to keep a couple of out of contract players and intends to meet with owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg to discuss who they want to be here come the new campaign.

He said: “We will make decisions on players' contracts and the staff here have given me some good feedback.

“It won't be a case of making phone calls. I will sit down with every player and talk to them and everyone will know where they will stand.

“There is no guarantee. Even if there are one or two I want to keep they will want to negotiate. You can't keep everyone.

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“I will get feed back off the staff and make decisions from there.”

Keane added with a smile: “I'm not saying they will be the right decisions but if they go somewhere else and do well then I can blame someone else and say it was not my decision.”

The former Sunderland boss used his five months out of work to good effect, running the rule over prospective new signings.

He said: “I could draw up a lovely list right here. I have a few in mind but I have to sit down with the owner and the chief executive and work out fees and wages and all those sorts of things.

“When you are watching games, whether it is first team or reserves, you hope players can leave an impression and you remember them.”

The new Blues boss admits he has targeted a couple of new signings already but insists there will not be wholesale changes in the summer. He said: “There won't be a lot of new players coming in.

“There is a nice foundation here and I have been pleasantly surprised at the group of players that are here so it is not all doom and gloom. People who think we will bring in eight or nine - no chance - but we will bring in one or two.”

When I asked if he had an idea about which positions he particularly wanted to strengthen he joked: “Possibly so, but I can't tell you. A lot of clubs will have areas where they look at. There are certainly areas I will look at where we need more competition.

“Maybe there is not enough in certain positions and we are looking for improvement there.”

Keane also revealed he doesn't intend splashing the cash, although pointed out he did not need to spend that much to get Sunderland promoted.

He said: “I only spent about �4.5m-�5m in the Championship, more when we got promoted, but the message here is we won't be throwing money around and we will wheel and deal like everyone else.”

And the Irishman was in agreement with Blues president Sir Bobby Robson who last week said Keane needed to learn from his mistakes. Sir Bobby suggested Keane see any prospective singings himself and not rely solely on others.

Keane said: “I agree with him 100 per cent. That is something everyone in any walk of life should do.”

Sir Bobby also said it was imperative he move to the area and that is something Keane is already addressing. He said: “My priority is to find a house and school for the kids.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk