Town's 'criminal' waste

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane pulls no punches when it comes to describing his side's missed chances this season - it's criminal.

Carl Marston

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane pulls no punches when it comes to describing his side's missed chances this season - it's criminal.

Town remain stuck in the bottom three, mainly because of their inability to score goals.

But Keane wants that to change this afternoon, despite a tricky Portman Road test against Championship high-fliers Blackpool.

Just six goals from 10 home matches is a woeful record, and overall Keane's men have netted only 19 goals from 20 league fixtures.

"I've not really known anything like it in my life!" blasted Keane.

Most Read

"We had 21 chances at Bristol (0-0 draw), and we created just as many against Peterborough (also 0-0 on Tuesday night).

"It's criminal that we keep missing these chances.

"But there aren't many top strikers around who can put the ball in the back of the net. These boys are priceless."

Town's strikers - and there are six of them - have not exactly been blowing hot-and-cold this term. They have stayed "cold" throughout.

Jon Walters remains the top scorer with five goals (including two penalties), while Jon Stead has contributed three and both Pablo Counago and Tamas Priskin have managed just one each in the Championship.

Connor Wickham, who is yet to start a league game, has not yet scored in the Championship, although Crystal Palace loanee Stern John was unlucky not to net his first goal in a Town shirt when his first-half header was ruled out for a foul against Peterborough.

"What a difference it would have made if just one of my strikers had eight or nine goals. We'd have been well up the table," admitted Keane.

"But if we keep creating the chances that we're doing, then we'll be OK. Last Tuesday night was very frustrating, but at least we're proving hard to beat.

"The plus is that we've not been negative. We've been very positive.

"Maybe this will be our day when the strikers start scoring some goals," added Keane.

The Irishman started with John and Stead up front against Peterborough, just as he did at Bristol City the previous weekend.

And he might stick with this pairing today, although there is a strong case for giving Pablo Counago another chance - the Spaniard missed a great opportunity to score a late winner at Ashton Gate, when appearing as a substitute, but he was not even in the 18-man squad on Tuesday night.

Counago is in Keane's plans for this weekend, as is midfielder Alan Quinn, who missed the Peterborough game due to injury.

But front-runner Lee Martin will not feature, because of a heel problem, and Alex Bruce, David Norris, Richard Wright and Luciano Civelli remain on the injured list.

Visiting Blackpool are sixth in the table, 13 points ahead of Town, and they are fresh from an eye-catching 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough in midweek.

However, that was only the Seasiders' second away league win, following a 1-0 victory at Nottingham Forest. They have been far more successful at Bloomfield Road.

Ex-Town striker Billy Clarke will not play against his old team today.

The Irishman is not expected to return until the new year because of a knee injury, although he could be fit for when Town visit Blackpool in the FA Cup on January 2.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter