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Keane Unlikely to Make Too Many Changes for Plymouth Clash
Keane Unlikely to Make Too Many Changes for Plymouth Clash
Tuesday, 23rd Mar 2010 08:52

Town boss Roy Keane seems unlikely to make too many changes to his side ahead of Plymouth’s visit to Portman Road tonight, although he says he will switch personnel if he feels players need freshening up. The Blues have no new injuries ahead of Paul Mariner’s first return to the club as a manager.

Speaking at Monday’s pre-match press conference, Keane said he would be assessing his players during training: “We’ll have a look at it. We’re going to do a very, very light training session this morning [Monday]. The lads who didn’t play or were on the bench trained on Sunday morning and all trained very, very well. They’ll all be pushing for a starting place.

“I’m not going to keep the same team for the sake of it. If I think there are one or two players that need freshening up, then I’ll certainly do that. I’m not here to please anybody, I’m here to try and pick the right XI and to try and get a winning team.”

Keane was pleased with the victory over Barnsley: “It was a good win for us, it was nice to get three points, now we need to win on Tuesday night. It was a good response from the players and I was pleased with them, I have to say.

“I think last Tuesday [at Watford] I was entitled to be disappointed, and the players were too. Don’t think for a moment that the players don’t care or aren’t as passionate about the club as I am and there was disappointment after the performance on Tuesday.

“But the beauty of football is you always have a chance to bounce back and the players have done that, which is something they’ve done all season, to be fair.”

The Blues boss wants his side to show the same endeavour against the Pilgrims: “What we have to do now is try and go on a run of games and have the 100% commitment like we had on Saturday.

“It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win football matches but you should have that honesty with yourself and your team-mates that you’re going to keep going and start the game properly.

“We did that Saturday, we scored after four minutes. We certainly could have kept the ball better in the second half, but that’s football.

“You can’t have it your own way, there are two teams out there battling. We had to put up with a bit of pressure in the last 10 minutes but the players hung in there. I don’t think our keeper had too many saves to make.

“When you’re 1-0 up the onus is for the opposition to come at you, and that’s what they did, just like we did at Blackpool a few weeks earlier.

“I think we did OK on Saturday, we had good chances, we could have been 2-0 or 3-0 up, but it wasn’t to be, which is why we made it difficult for ourselves particularly in the last 10 or 15 minutes.

“Overall, I was pleased with the reaction of the players and we have to kick on again on Tuesday night.”

The Town boss feels his team can potentially beat most sides in the Championship, but need to be more consistent: “On our day we know we can compete with a lot of the teams.

“I think we’ve only come up short in two or three of the games earlier in the season. Newcastle at home, possibly West Brom away and maybe against Middlesbrough away we let ourselves down, but other than that we’ve competed in every game.

“Our home form has been decent since September when we lost to Newcastle, I think we’ve been unbeaten, and just as well [given the away form].

“We need to keep that up. We’ve four home games left, I think we did OK on Saturday without playing particularly well, but we’ll take 1-0 every day.”

Keane admits that at the present results are more important to him than performances: “People go on about Ipswich and beautiful football, but we need to live in the real world. At the moment it’s about getting football results.”

The Town boss is frustrated that when the Blues seem to be getting into a run of form, they put in a bad display: “Just as we seem to be making progress, we take a step backwards like we did at Watford. But generally speaking over the last 20-odd games, there have been a lot of pluses and I think the players are making progress.

“But what we’ve done is made it hard for ourselves to have a good season this year because of the horrendously bad start and on top of that there are a lot of draws in there.

“However, over the last few games, we’ve had five clean sheets and that gives you a chance. We’ve been pleased with the back four and our goalkeeper.”

Keane says he is appreciative of the support he and his players have received from the Portman Road regulars: “Generally, I think the supporters have been brilliant with us. They have been very patient and I think they acknowledge what’s gone on on the pitch. We’ve come up short, we know that, but it certainly hasn’t been through a lack of effort or attitude.

“We’ve not scored enough goals, we’ve had too many draws, but I still believe there’s progress being made. It might sound crazy to people outside the club, but I work here every day. We know there’s a lot of hard work ahead as well, we’re not kidding ourselves.”

Keane says he expects to face a Plymouth side scrapping for every point: “They put in a battling performance again on Saturday and they were a bit unlucky to lose to Scunthorpe.

“They’re fighting for their lives, it’s going to be a tough game for us, but we need to focus on ourselves and making sure we’re at it, giving 100%. I think we have a good chance of getting a result, but there are no guarantees.”

Brian Murphy will be looking for his fifth successive home clean sheet in his fifth game at Portman Road, which is surely a record. Overall the former Bohemians man has recorded five in his first eight games for Town since making his move from League of Ireland football. Arran Lee-Barrett is again likely to get the nod ahead of Richard Wright for the role on the bench.

Shane O’Connor will continue at left-back despite picking up a knock on Saturday with Damien Delaney and Gareth McAuley in the centre. David Wright is likely to carry on at right-back.

In midfield, Jaime Peters could come in for Carlos Edwards on the right after a bright display from the bench on Saturday or alternatively skipper Jon Walters could be moved to the right and Jack Colback to the left to allow Grant Leadbitter to return in the centre alongside David Norris.

Up front, Daryl Murphy and Pablo Couñago did enough against Barnsley to keep their places against Argyle with David Healy and Connor Wickham, who joins the England U17 squad later in the week, playing a part from the bench.

Plymouth boss Paul Mariner says he is delighted to be returning to Town but says gaining three valuable points is his main focus: "I've always wanted to go back. But nothing detracts from the fact we need a win."

The ex-England striker has been impressed with Town's recent form: "They've really picked up. They were always going to do so, it was just a question of when, but let's hope we just catch them on an off-day.

"They're difficult to break down. They've kept clean sheets in their last four home games. They have a lot of energy, they're a very good Championship team, and they're in a rich vein of form."

Mariner has a number of injury problems with central defender Kari Arnason ruled out with a hip problem and left-back Richard Eckersley missing due to an ankle injury. On-loan West Ham youngster Bondz N'Gala will deputise for the former and will be making his debut for the Pilgrims, while Chris Barker will come in on the left of the defence.

Full-backs David McNamee and Gary Sawyer (both hamstring) are also sidelined at present, as is winger Craig Noone (knee). Midfielder Luke Summerfield is a doubt with an ankle injury.

The Pilgrims currently sit second bottom of the table on 34 points, eight places and 13 points behind the Blues, with an away record of won four, drawn two and lost 13.

Town have had the edge over Argyle over the years, winning 19 games (18 in the league), losing 10 (10) and drawing 15 (15).

In October, at the height of Town’s winless streak, the sides drew 1-1 at Home Park, the Pilgrims going in front through Carl Fletcher in the 20th minute, but the Blues hitting back through Jon Stead, while Plymouth’s loanee defender Darcy Blake was sent off for a two-footed tackle late on.

Last season, the sides played out a January 0-0 draw at Portman Road, while the Blues won 3-1 at Home Park, Owen Garvan scoring twice and Kevin Lisbie adding the third. Craig Cathcart scored the Argyle goal.

Midfielder David Norris joined the Blues from Plymouth in January 2008, while Lee Martin was on loan with the Pilgrims in 2007/08, scoring two goals in 10 starts and two sub appearances. Town chief scout Steve McCall was a player, coach and caretaker-manager at Plymouth.

Legendary Town striker Paul Mariner joined Plymouth, who he played for before his spell with the Blues, as a coach from MLS side the New England Revolution just before the game at Home Park, taking over as Argyle manager from Paul Sturrock in December.

No current Plymouth player has featured for Town, aside from ex-loanee Simon Walton, who is on loan at Crewe.

Tuesday’s referee is Dean Whitestone from Northampton, who has shown 65 yellow and three red cards in 26 games so far this season. Whitestone’s last Town match was the 1-1 draw at Reading earlier in the season in which he kept his cards in his pocket throughout.

Squad from: B Murphy, Lee-Barrett, R Wright, D Wright, Rosenior, O’Connor, Delaney, McAuley, Smith, Norris, Colback, Leadbitter, Garvan, Walters, Edwards, Peters, Martin, D Murphy, Healy, Couñago, Wickham.

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ZondervansTash added 09:09 - Mar 23
Peters for Edwards otherwise keep the same team from Saturday please Keane. Walters due to his disappointing form should be dropped/rested also but as he is captain I doubt this will happen
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deliadreamsofitfc added 09:24 - Mar 23
Walters should be dropped. He looks shagged out all the time, if he was on the bench for the next 2-3 games he would have a better impact come the real end of the season. Plus play him on the right hand side Keano.
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ITFC1985 added 09:25 - Mar 23
If Edwards starts tonight i might run on the pitch and injure him myself!!! i agree about Walters needing a rest or just to be dropped has under performed for a good few months now
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dirtydingusmagee added 09:51 - Mar 23
Peters in my opinion is under rated, hope he starts .I like Keanes impression of Clint Eastwood ,thats all.
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ZondervansTash added 09:51 - Mar 23
Walters has been the biggest under-performer for me all season. He has been so diappointing in far too many games and if he wasn't captain and a real grafter which is the type of player Keane loves he would be on the bench for me every time. He doesn't score enough goals, doesn't create enough goals and adds very liitle to the team. He isn't really the vocal, influential leader we need either.
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bennyblue added 09:56 - Mar 23
paul mariner now he was a striker
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PlymptonBlue added 09:56 - Mar 23
This is my 'local derby' so come lads, please give me three points to keep the Janners off my back for a few seasons! Having seen Argyle play a few times this season under Mariner i feel sorry for the lad as he's desperately trying to keep them up and his team are pretty poor. Hopefully he'll guide them to promotion from League One next season. I'm sure Mariner will get a tremendous reception and rightly so, he was certainly one of my boyhood heros - give him a cheer from me!
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PlymptonBlue added 09:58 - Mar 23
This is my 'local derby' so come lads, please give me three points to keep the Janners off my back for a few seasons! Having seen Argyle play a few times this season under Mariner i feel sorry for the lad as he's desperately trying to keep them up and his team are pretty poor. Hopefully he'll guide them to promotion from League One next season. I'm sure Mariner will get a tremendous reception and rightly so, he was certainly one of my boyhood heros - give him a cheer from me!
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osborne1nil added 10:22 - Mar 23
Agree with ZondervansTash re Walters, IMO he has had another poor season and perhaps sometime sitting on the bench or coming on towards the end of a game would do him good. he certainly has created many chances or scored many, but like him as a player because of his work ethic.
Peters I feel has been very unlucky to not feature alot more this season as I feel he has played very solidly wherever he has been played. He certainly looked alot better than Edwards when he came on at the weekend and put in some good crosses. Peters was prepared to take players on and run towards the line and send across in, Edwards wanted to pump the ball ahead of the players rather than carry on towards the goal and his crosses were on the whole poor.

Murphy

D Wright, Macauley, Delaney, O'Connor

Peters, Norris, Garvan, Leadbitter

Counago, Murphy

Bench: R Wright, Walters, Healey, Smith, Rosenoir, Wickham, Martin
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Redmond added 10:50 - Mar 23
Osborne1nil you cant play Leadbitter on the wing i would play

Murphy

D Wright, Macauley, Delaney, Rosenoir

Peters Norris Colback O'Connor

Counago Murphy


the reason why O'Connor as left mid he loves gettin forward and this way he have 2 proper wingers
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osborne1nil added 10:59 - Mar 23
Redmond, agree that Leadbitter not a winger and toyed with giving Edwards another shout, just been disappointed with his last few peformances. Rosenoir is no left back though either, but Colback has played well in this position so could alternate with O'Connor, so revised line up could be?

Murphy
D Wright, Macauley, Delaney, Colback
Peters, Norris, Garvan, O'Connor,
Counago Murphy

?
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BlueBoots added 11:09 - Mar 23
Tonight's team - you heard it first here...

B. Murphy

Rosenior, McAuley, Delaney, O'Connor

Walters, Norris, Leadbitter, Colback

Counago, Murphy

I heard David Wright's been playing through an injury for the past few months, so I can see RK resting him for the (probably) tougher Swansea away game.
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matt_the_blue added 11:11 - Mar 23
Having been born in Plymouth and raised here I'm really looking forward to seeing my beloved Town take on my home City's club - plus the return of Mariner is the proverbial icing on the cake :D
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Doctor_Albran added 11:23 - Mar 23
Sorry boys, why would you play a full back at Left Midfield and a midfielder at left back?

O'connor to start at left back and Colback left midfield - O'conner likes to overlap and get forward and colbacks engine allows him to cover for him when he does it - it's one of the reasons Garvan was hauled off at watford as he wasn't able to cover O'Connor's runs - because Garvan runs like he's in a sand trap!

I think Osborne1nil's team is good apart from the left hand side. Although I imagine that Leadbitter will start instead of Garvan, purely because he's been a more consistent performer this season.
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osborne1nil added 11:29 - Mar 23
Dr_Albran, I expect you will be proved right in respect of Garvan as I'm not sure if he is in Keane's thoughts for a start for a while, which is a shame as when he turns up to play his distribution of the ball can be superb.
Feel O'Connor is a more attacking player than Colback who is in a similar elk to Norris and Leadbitter, playing all 3 in midfield IMO is more defensive than attacking and could see more balls being passed backwards & sidewards than forwards.
Still I guess none of these teams will be correct and RK will surprise us?
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Doctor_Albran added 11:46 - Mar 23
I like Garvan, and I thought when he went off against Peterborough we just stopped creating, but we're in a position in the table where battling comes first and finesse 2nd (hate to say it but needs must at the moment).

The Peterborough game provided another example and that was our lack of a natural Left Back - Ruben Reid came on and gave first Colback then Peters the run around (can understand why Keano changed it, Colback was fighting Reid but getting too tight - he kept getting away from him, peters stood off him a little too much and lacked the muscle to fight). We now seem to have found a good left back (bit early to start calling him very good - but it's promising) from within the youth system, so he has to play there.
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dubblue added 11:58 - Mar 23
Expect a 2 nil win. The only changes I would make would be Peters for Edwards and perhaps give Walters a rest, probably play Leadbitter or Garvan.
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bleedblue added 12:35 - Mar 23
If Pablo played how he did in the first half against Barnsley all his career he would be partnering Torres in the World Cup, he was outstanding! Just hope he can do the same tonight, its going to be a very tough match, against a team that has nothing now to lose and needs to win! Look forward to the return of a Legend, but we have got to beat these tonigh, it is going to be a tuff game. I woul dhave to go with:

Murphy
Wright Mc Delaney O'Connor
Walters Norris Colback Peters
Murphy Pablo

Peters can be dangerous down the left, and with him and O'Conner pairing up, could be our strongest attck tonight.

COYB!!
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Pendejo added 12:40 - Mar 23
I would not have sacked Magic when we did, and I would not have appointed Keane when we did.....

However

Tractor Roy seems to be able to say the right things at the right times and has a no nonsense approach to how he speaks to the fans via the media.

I hope that next season he delivers the Championship Title with our friends from Carrer Rud joining us for a Premiership adventure (from 2nd place so no day out at Wembley).

COYBs
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bleedblue added 13:23 - Mar 23
Pendejo - That would be a dream - I would love to embarrass those Scummers on MOTD - Hanson slating them as we stuff 5 past them again!!

I am dreaming badly!
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renoble added 13:56 - Mar 23
I'm so excited I might do a little wee.

I dont think we should hammer Edwards, he was the only one who got wide and crossed the ball in the first twenty minutes.

Agree though that Walters needs a rest; at times he's leaden footed and certainly looks tired.
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Blueknight85 added 14:15 - Mar 23
O'conner is also a left midfielder
the fact you have only seen him at left back for ipswich does not make him a fully fledged full back never to play anywhere else.....
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ChambersM added 14:18 - Mar 23
whoever put leadbitter left midfield, sort yourself out. Do believe it was 'osbourne1nil'...what are you thinking?
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dirtydingusmagee added 15:27 - Mar 23
Hope Paul Mariner gets a warm reception tonight, he was a top player for us,just hope team dont get too charitable thats all .
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Doctor_Albran added 16:27 - Mar 23
Blueknight - I'm not saying he should never play anywhere else, however, he's won his place in the 1st team playing left back for the reserves, he's played the last 3 games at Left back playing well and getting rave reviews - one mistake at Watford, but it was only 1 mistake amongst a sea of errors by others, so why on earth would you want to play him anywhere else (at this moment in time?)

The fact is you can start him at left back but tell him and whoever's playing left midfield (colback/peters/leadbitter?!?!?!?) to overlap as often as they feel comfortable and there is cover there.

Alternatively play him as a wing back! lol lets go 3-5-2

Murphy
Smith - GMac - Delaney
Rosenior - Norris - Garvan - Leadbitter - O'Connor
Counago - Murphy

Both full backs are quick enough that you could have a 5-3-2 when under pressure and 3-5-2 when we're bombing forward - Now that would be sexy football!
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