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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.”

Photo: TWTD

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ShropshireBluenago09 added 16:24 - Sep 16
We need him starting games ahead of Jackson. Perfect foil for Norwood IMO.

Cakeman added 16:30 - Sep 16
A very good signing and as long as he keeps fit it gives us a lot of options. Particularly if Freddie Sears is available too. That is some strike force in division one or indeed the Championship for that matter.

SouperJim added 16:37 - Sep 16
If fit and up to speed, he's the best striker at the club. I actually think it's Norwood who he's more likely to replace, Jackson has pace and is able to run in behind, while Norwood looks more suited to aerial stuff and hold up play. Keane is just a better pedigree of that type of striker. Nors looks like an effort and heart player but ultimately a bit limited technically, I think this is probably the limit of his level where as Keane is clearly capable of more.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 16:43 - Sep 16
Norwood would be first striker on my team sheet

trncbluearmy added 16:48 - Sep 16
How anyone can suggest Keane in front of Nors is beyond me,have a look at their goal records.
Keane will get a chance as 3rd choice striker, 4th when Freddie is back.

rgp1 added 17:10 - Sep 16
He looks like he's sitting talking to his dentist or doctor.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 19:36 - Sep 16
Pretty sure he’ll get some game time tomorrow. Why not Norwood, Jackson AND Keane together?

afcfee added 20:51 - Sep 16
Jackson looks like could do with a break although I do agree Keane is definitely a hold up player he did combine pretty well with Quaner tho who is also a TM.

herfie added 21:12 - Sep 16
Play him, drop Judge.

dirtydingusmagee added 21:15 - Sep 16
no doubt a good player ,we have a good squad now if and when all fit, a bit of competition to get a game does no harm , get in and prove a point .

sharpshooter added 22:30 - Sep 16
SouperJim, bang on the money, totally agree.

BigHibbs added 23:04 - Sep 16
Totally understand I’m going to get down votes. Norwood isn’t lethal in front of goal (not to say Keane is) taking penalties away his return isn’t as good as everyone goes on about. He never wins a flick on and doesn’t hold the ball. I understand he’s a cult hero. But with him and Jackson playing up top the ball never sticks. Holy can kick so far, so I’d like to see Keane start. He wins loads of aerial duels and he can hold the ball and bring other players into the game.

Razor added 10:21 - Sep 17
Crikey---3 recognised strikers up front------when did that last happen!?

Would be great though and show our intent!!

ITFCsince73 added 18:42 - Sep 17
Ok Will lace those boots up, and play upfront with Norwood.
In a 442, well give Kayden a rest.
You and Norwood will scare the life out of MK.

Walk_the_Wark added 16:26 - Sep 18
I think we saw last that you’re not mate. Also you are not stepping down, you need to step up!

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