Keane Delighted With O'Dea Debut
Monday, 23rd Aug 2010 07:07
Blues boss Roy Keane was delighted with new loan signing Darren O’Dea’s debut in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace. However, the Town manager revealed that the Celtic man might not be available for Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie at Crewe having suffered a concussion at Selhurst Park.
Keane said: “Darren did very well, he was touch and go to come on for the second half because he’s got concussion. He’ll have to see the doctor to see whether he’ll be available for Tuesday.
“There was no way he wanted to come off, he’s a good character and I thought he made some good tackles right in front of our supporters. They’ll appreciate that.”
O’Dea and his defensive colleagues needed to be on top of their game against the Eagles, says Keane: “We knew our back four would be under pressure today, but we just hoped that if we got the opportunities we’d punish Palace, which we managed to do. But we don’t do that anywhere near enough.
“Darren should be pleased. He’s had a good week at the club and I’m very pleased with him. He’s a good kid.”
The Town boss was similarly happy with his two central defenders, but says Tommy Smith needs a rest: “Tommy’s due a break. He’s going to have a week or two off after the Bristol game. He needs a week’s holiday because he’s not had a good break since the World Cup, but with the injury to Damien we’ve had to play him, and so far it’s worked out well for him.
“He’s very unassuming, he gets on with the job and he did well against Palace. I knew our two centre-halves would have to play well for us to have any chance of winning the game.”
Keane is pleased with the morale of his squad and hopes the early season form will prove to be something on which he can build: “Spirit doesn’t necessarily get you promoted but it gives you a chance. We had no platform last year, we were playing catch-up all season.”
The Blues manager admitted that Claude Davis’s red card had some bearing on the game at Selhurst Park: “The sending off affected it, no doubt.
“Palace have some good young players, strong, athletic, they put us under pressure. We needed that second goal because we felt we were probably going to concede because of the number of balls coming into our box, but that was to be expected.
“They’ve good players like Garvs and they caused us problems. We had one or two scary moments, as you’d expect in any game, particularly away from home.
“Having said that,” Keane continued, “I’m not sure Márton had too many saves to make. We’re disappointed with the goal we conceded, but that’s football, you’re going to have disappointments in the game.”
The Irishman felt Palace keeper Julian Speroni and his team-mates made the most of Andros Townsend’s high challenge, which led to his sending off: “Their keeper’s recovery rate was quite good and a lot of their players were around the referee. We had the same last year [with Jon Stead’s red card].
“He was going for the ball,” added Keane, “You know your players, he’s a left-sided midfielder, who plays for Tottenham. He’s not a nasty boy, I just spoke to him in the dressing room and he’s upset. It's his first sending off.
“I think he was naïve more than anything else and I think the referee should have sussed that out, even though I thought the referee generally had a good game.
“He’s got the red card and we get on with it. But there were a few arguments and if I was a betting man, which I’m not, I would have been pretty sure another red was going to come somewhere. We’ll miss Andros because he gives us something different to what we’ve got.”
The Town manager says he missed the plastic bottle being thrown from the crowd after Grant Leadbitter netted the Blues’ penalty: “I didn’t see it, but if it’s happened it’s out of order. It’s up to the FA and the officials to deal with it.”
Asked about Leadbitter’s celebration in front of the Palace fans, Keane joked: “We’ve told the players never, ever celebrate scoring a goal. They’ll be fined for that!
“Did you want him to run 60 yards to [the Town fans at the other end to] celebrate? That would be seen to incite some sort of trouble. It’s only natural that when you score, you celebrate.”
Keane suggested that the Palace players made little secret of their victory after last season’s corresponding fixture: “Remember here last year? Do you want to know what players were doing in the tunnel after they beat us?”
Townsend will miss three games for his red card, starting on Tuesday at Crewe, with the Keane unlikely to launch an appeal, while Grant Leadbitter, like O’Dea, will be assessed today after returning from the ankle injury he sustained against Burnley sooner than expected.
Photo: Action Images
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