Keane: I'm Ready When Required
Monday, 16th Sep 2019 16:11
Town striker Will Keane is desperate to follow up his brief substitute appearance in Saturday’s 0-0 home draw against Doncaster with his first start of the current campaign.
“I’m ready when required,” he announced on the eve of the trip to face an MK Dons side with three successive wins in all competitions behind them, including Saturday’s impressive 3-0 victory at Blackpool that saw them climb to 12th place in the League One table, three points behind Paul Lambert’s second-placed – and still unbeaten – side.
Keane replaced Kayden Jackson in the 79th minute at the weekend, fans’ first glimpse of him in senior action since signing a permanent deal before the transfer deadline after his release by Hull at the end of last season, the second half of which he had spent on loan at Portman Road.
Now the former Manchester United youngster, whose twin brother Michael plays in central defence for Everton and England, is praying his injury problems are finally behind him and he can establish himself in boss Lambert’s first team and help the club to regain its Championship status.
“It was a great feeling to come off the bench on Saturday, especially coming on at Portman Road because I’d been there watching the previous couple of games and the atmosphere was terrific,” Keane said.
“The fans have got right behind the team and we’re giving them something to cheer about at the minute with being up at the top of the table. We’ve just got to keep it going.
“I’ve had no reaction, no problems. I feel great and with the games coming thick and fast I’m just itching to get as many minutes as possible. Hopefully, I’ll be called upon soon.”
Keane accepts he has a challenge on his hands to dislodge either new boy James Norwood or Kayden Jackson, the nine-goal strike partnership spearheading Town’s promotion challenge, although both drew a blank against a Doncaster side who might have grabbed all three points but for a couple of key saves from keeper Tomas Holy and a shot that struck a post.
He added: “They have both started on fire and have got quite a few goals, which is great. As I’ve said before, the main goal is to get promoted and we need individuals, everyone, to be producing.
“There will be moments when certain lads aren’t going to be at their best and other lads will have to come in and step up. As long as we’re all pulling in the right direction the competition for places is a good thing for the team.
“Kayden and Nors have been really impressive. Obviously, I was with Kayden last season and saw what he is capable of doing. He’s got great talent and it was tough for him last year because he probably didn’t really get a proper run in the team.
“But you can see he had a really good pre-season, the way he has started the season so well and looked so sharp, while Nors is a natural goalscorer and hopefully they can keep producing the goals because it’s only going to help benefit the team.
“Could we play as a three? I don’t see why not. I like to think we complement each other and we bring different strengths to the team.
“It all depends on the manager and what sort of formation he wants to play but I’m sure we would all enjoy that and we would be an attacking force.”
Asked when he envisaged being back to his best, Keane added: “Hopefully not long. I’d like to get a few more minutes in the next couple of games and then, after I’ve had a few starts, I’ll get my full match sharpness back.
“In training I felt sharp and fit and now that I’m playing again the aim is to get a goal as soon as possible and kick on from there.
“Both Kayden and Nors have been getting goals, which is what we’re here to do, and if I can start chipping in as well it’s going to give us an even better chance of being up there at the end of the season.
“I’m ready to start if that’s what the manager wants but I like to think my best years are still to come.
“I think I’m still young enough at 26 and I’ve got my injuries out of the way now. There’s no reason why I can’t keep playing for a long time.
“This is a great opportunity to contribute and be part of the success here and I don’t see any reason why I can’t be here for a few years.”
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