Keane: Our Season Starts Now
Monday, 14th Jan 2019 06:00
Winning goalscorer Will Keane says Town’s season starts now following the 1-0 victory over Rotherham at Portman Road. The 26-year-old netted his first goal for the Blues in the 31st minute as bottom-of-the-table Town cut the gap to safety to seven points plus goal difference.
“Absolutely delighted to get the win and a perfect start for me with the goal,” said the on-loan Hull City man, who was making his full, league and home debut for the Blues having come on as a sub at Accrington in the FA Cup. “We wanted to give the fans something to cheer about and we did that.
“It got a bit nervy second half and we had to hang on. It got a bit tense but in previous games we might have gone a goal down and not hung on so it was pleasing we could do that today. We rode our luck a bit but we got the points.”
Reflecting on his goal, he added: “It was a great cross in by Freddie Sears. It came at an awkward angle but luckily it came back out to me and I was able to put it away.
“There is a confidence and belief in how we play and performances have been good but we have not had the results.
“It helped that I was not the only new player coming in. James Collins at the back is such an experienced player and he showed that with his presence alongside Chambo.”
Chambers, who inadvertently somersaulted over a perimeter gate in the first half, suffered a wrist injury which isn’t expected to keep him out of action.
Keane started the game in a role behind the more advanced Collin Quaner with the Blues utilising a 4-4-1-1 system.
“I’m quite flexible,” he explained. “At Hull I was mainly a number nine when I did play, but I have also played at number 10. I can link-up play or play the lone striker.
“I’m desperate to play games and help the team. You can sense the atmosphere and the fans were great.
“It doesn’t feel like a team at the bottom. We just need to win more games at home and that will be crucial. The manager has been great and knows what he wants from us.”
Stockport-born Keane, who has twice suffered cruciate knee ligament injuries during his career, is pleased to have got off the mark so soon after joining Town.
“As a striker you want to get that first goal and I enjoyed that but there is a long way to go,” he said. “Hopefully I can kick on and get a few more.
“The injuries were a blow but I have been fit for some time now but wasn’t getting the opportunity to play and it is even more frustrating when you are fit but not getting games. That was a massive factor in me coming here.
“It has happened before when you go on loan and go two or three games without a goal and it does affect your confidence as any striker will say.
“Even in the games I have played and not scored I have felt good and come close to scoring but have just been unfortunate. To get that chance today and put it away was really pleasing and I can build on that.
“I have belief in myself so it was good to demonstrate what I can do. It is going to be goals that will get us out of the situation we are in. I have the first now we can go on a run and score more.”
Keane, who came through the youth system at Manchester United and has represented England at U21, U20, U19, U17 and U16 levels, believes his parent club’s turnaround this season shows what can be achieved.
“I hope the Great Escape is on,” he continued. “There were 60 points up grabs and we have the first three.
“Our season starts now and we have done everything we can so let’s build momentum. We have seen at Hull how they have gone six on the bounce that just shows how a winning can start a run. It is a fresh challenge for me and the other players.”
Rotherham’s Ryan Williams felt his team started poorly against the Blues: ‘We didn’t start very well and they came out quick and capitalised on that.
“We created quite a few scrambles in the goal and on another day we could have put them away. It just was not our day in front of goal.
“We wanted to make the gap bigger but didn’t do that, although we have another chance against Brentford on Saturday.
“We did well second half and they didn’t get out of their half. It was down to not having that final bit of skill.”
“We always start a little slow, then second half we do well and end up running over teams, which is what we did. They had two shots in the second half.
“We need to do better at 0-0. They do tell us to do better from the start but for some reason or other we don’t and we end up having a few close calls. We need to start better in future. We were happy with the second half.
“We don’t see ourselves in a relegation fight. We just go out there and give it our lot every game and see where that gets us.
“We should have had more points in many games this season. We should have turned more one pointers into three.”
Meanwhile, Town’s table-topping U23s are in action away against Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon (KO 12pm).
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