Pim applauds Keane's loan move decision

IPSWICH Town defender Pim Balkestein today applauded Blues boss Roy Keane for his 'good shout'.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town defender Pim Balkestein today applauded Blues boss Roy Keane for his 'good shout'.

And the 22-year-old Dutch defender also predicted that Tommy Smith will come back from his one-month loan at League One Brentford a better player.

Balkestein returned to the Ipswich senior side for the first time since the heavy home defeat by Newcastle last September in last Sunday's 1-1 Championship draw at Leicester City.

He played eight games while at Griffin Park and is looking forward to holding his place against Coventry City at Portman Road on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

“I was suffering from a little dip and not playing well and not training well,” said Balkestein, whose contract with Town ends in the summer.

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“It was a great shout by the manager to arrange for me to go out on loan.

“Manager Andy Scott and his coaching team gave me a lot of confidence and I felt I did well against some good teams including clean sheets against both Leeds United and Colchester United.

“Tommy (Smith) has followed me to play for the Bees and I strongly advised him to go.

“He had a number of options, but like me I'm sure he'll come back to Ipswich a better player after choosing Brentford.”

Keane wanted to bring Balkestein back after the first month of the loan, but it was not until the second month was up that the left-sided defender returned to Suffolk.

“The manager spoke to me and said he had watched me play and that he thought I had played well,” added Balkestein.

“There was talk of me returning after a month, but Brentford wanted me to stay and it was agreed I would stay longer.

“Now I am back I want to hold me place and against a well-placed Leicester side we contained them to a few opportunities.

“It was unbelievable to be back for such a big game and a match that was on television.

“Left back is still a strange position for me but I think I did okay.”

Balkestein sees Saturday's game as a chance to put right the misfortunes of the opening day of the season.

Town lost 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena with Balkestein in the Town side, and he said: “I missed a couple of chances.

“It is a game we were capable of winning and the defeat got us off on the wrong foot.

“We started well but an injury to key player David Norris affected us and we now have a chance to gain some revenge.

“There is something still left in the season for us and now that everybody has settled in I'm sure we can move up the table pretty quickly.”

Ipswich have an option to extend Balkestein's contract in the summer and the youngster is hoping this is going to happen.

“There have been some dips but also some really good highs in my 18 months,” said Balkestein. “I hope I can stay.”

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