Knives could be out for Roy

ROY Keane knows that the knives will be out if the Blues fail to beat Middlesbrough in the Championship at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) this afternoon.And his plan to avoid defeat in a defining game is to ask his players to 'play ugly'.

Elvin King

ROY Keane knows that the knives will be out if the Blues fail to beat Middlesbrough in the Championship at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm) this afternoon.

And his plan to avoid defeat in a defining game is to ask his players to 'play ugly'.

With four away matches to follow - and just one away league win all season - the fourth-from-bottom Blues will be in grave danger of descending into the bottom two by the end of the month.


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Keane still has supporters on his side, but while it is bad enough being in the drop zone in the autumn it can be terrifying heading into spring and this will get his critics raging.

The Ipswich manager is banking on his recent signings David Healy and Daryl Murphy supplying the goals to get his side out of trouble.

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But last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Preston left big question marks about the ability of his squad as a whole.

Just two defeats in 16 league games shows the recovery Keane has made after a dreadful start to the campaign, but just one win in the last five is a worrying sequence.

“Maybe we got carried away and thought we were a decent team,” said Keane. “But we've still got a long way to go and last weekend proved that.

“We've got to get back to being a bit more solid, maybe a bit more ugly.”

And reflecting on the current precarious league position, Keane went on: “We're looking over our shoulder, after last week's results.

“We need to do better and we will do, but we've got some tough games coming up.

“The table doesn't lie. We are where we're meant to be and that's fourth from bottom.

“We've got to do something about it.

“We've had signs that we're going places and then we have disappointments.

“It's been a case or one step forward and two back. That's not going to get us anywhere.”

Although the transfer window closed on Monday, Keane can still alter his squad through the emergency loan scheme that opens up again next week.

He has already confirmed that he has a couple of defenders on his radar with one narrowly failing to complete a move on Monday.

And turning to players going out, he added: “There has been an inquiry or two in the last few days about a couple of our players.

“We will turn our attention to that next week.”

Town visit Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, but have no fixture next Saturday before travelling to Peterborough on Tuesday, February 16.

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