Thatcher set to be dumped by Town

BEN Thatcher has fallen foul of manager Roy Keane's strict disciplinary regime and is unlikely to play for Ipswich Town again.

Elvin King

BEN Thatcher has fallen foul of manager Roy Keane's strict disciplinary regime and is unlikely to play for Ipswich Town again.

The 33-year-old left back, who still has nine months of his Blues contract to run, is now fit again after recovering from a knee injury sustained in the match before Keane took over from Jim Magilton last April.

He played one non-competitive reserve fixture this term, but now looks to be out in the cold with Keane saying: “Ben Thatcher is not in my thoughts.

“He is fit, but there are a number of issues with attitude in training and reporting for work on time among them.

“And there are one or two other players who I am looking for a bit more from as well.”

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Thatcher, who made his feelings public that he wanted to remain living in London, made 23 appearances for Town last season before going off in the 3-2 home victory over Norwich City.

The Swindon-born defender was signed on a free transfer by Magilton after a successful trial period in the summer of 2008.

He will not feature in the Coca-Cola Championship game against Nottingham Forest at Portman Road tonight, and nor will Bolton defender former Danny Shittu who is the latest player to be linked with Town.

On the evidence so far, Keane could do with a strong, no-nonsense central defender to help eradicate the errors that have led to poor goals being conceded in nearly every game this season.

Nigerian-born Shittu was a crucial part of a Watford unit that gained promotion under Aidy Boothroyd before moving to the Reebok Stadium.

He has been made available to leave Bolton having hardly featured this term, but if Keane is interested wages may be a problem for a played expected to be on around �20,000 a week.

“I am still aiming to bring in a couple of loan players, but nothing has happened over the weekend,” said Keane, who is aware that current loan deals have a maximum 93-day limit, which would see them run out before the transfer window opens in January.

“There will be no further newcomers for tonight's match. “

And when questioned about his reported interest in 29-year-old Shittu, Keane added: “I certainly won't comment on players at other football clubs.

“There's lots of stuff in newspapers every single day and if I was to comment on every player we've been linked with over the summer, I'd be chatting for a very long time.

“There's still one or two areas I think we're short in, people can second guess where that might be, and the staff and myself are working extremely hard to rectify this.”

Keane has a soft spot for Nottingham Forest, the club that brought him into English football as an 18-year-old from Cork.

“They are a wonderful football club and I want to see them do well - after tonight that is,” he said.

“Forest played a massive part in my career and under Brian Clough's management I had three brilliant years at the City Ground.

“I was beginning to wonder if my chance had gone with other players from my Irish side going over to England. But Forest gave me an opportunity and I will always be grateful to them and they looked after me in those early days.”

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