Keane: Home Form is Going to Be Vital
Friday, 31st Jan 2020 12:24
Town approach the final third of the league programme as strong contenders for one of the two automatic promotion places, knowing their home form is going to be key in deciding their end-of-season fate.
Ten of their remaining 16 fixtures are scheduled for Portman Road, which could be seen as a major advantage on their rivals, but of the 48 points they have banked so far in the current campaign only 20 have been gained at home and the other 28 being won on their travels.
However, they have won their last two home clashes against Accrington Stanley and Lincoln, and striker Will Keane said: “The performances at home have been really good and I think the fans have been brilliant in the way they have got behind us.
“They have seen us play some good stuff and shown their appreciation, but at the end of the day we need to make sure that when we are on top we’re putting teams to bed and getting those points on the board. That’s going to be vital.
“Confidence is currently high at home and that’s going to be massive in terms of the push towards the end of the season.
“We have to keep that up and look to take as many points as we can in front of our own fans.”
Asked if Town could have been more clinical in recent games, the one-time Manchester United youngster added: “We didn’t really have many chances at Rotherham on Tuesday to be honest. We didn’t sustain pressure in their half and we didn’t create much.
“But against Lincoln at home last week we had more opportunities that we should have capitalised on.
“At least against Lincoln we were creating the chances and you would probably be more concerned if you weren’t getting many opportunities to score. It is up to us to put them away when they come along.”
Keane, who joined permanently last August after scoring three times in 12 appearances on loan from Hull last term, has started eight League One games and come off the bench in the same number, netting three goals.
Injuries have blighted Keane’s career for many years but he has featured in Town’s last eight outings in all competitions, starting each of the last four. He added: “I’ve been very pleased to be starting and I’m feeling good. The more games I play, the sharper I feel, and I’m just looking to build on that now.
“I feel like I’m getting my full sharpness back and I want to contribute to the team by getting on the scoresheet again and helping us to get on a nice little run.
“The last time I felt this good was probably when I was here last season before I got injured. I had a similar run of games then and was feeling really good, and I believe I’m up to that level again now.”
Keane is looking to add to his tally of six goals before the end of the season and has set himself a minimum personal target of reaching double figures.
“That’s the aim,” he continued. “I go into every single game wanting to score and I’ll be looking to get at least another one tomorrow against Peterborough to get me going again.”
He has partnered Kayden Jackson up front in Town’s last three games and he admitted: “I always enjoy playing with Jacko. His performance levels have been really high and he’s a nightmare for defenders the way he puts himself about.
“We’ve also been linking up with Judgey and we’ve been complementing each other quite well. There’s been a good balance there.
“There are other lads to come in as well, like Nors, and they are also itching to get going.
“Nors did really well the other night when he came on at Rotherham. He made a good impact and was unlucky not to score when he hit the post with a chance near the end.
“We have a very strong squad now with most people fit, so the competition for places is good.
“Jacko is non-stop the whole game, harrying defenders and putting himself about, and I’ll admit he does a bit of my running at times.
“We’re both trying to feed each other and get into the dangerous areas when we have good possession.”
Asked how long it takes for a partnership to click, Keane responded: “It starts to build in day-to-day training, not just the games, but the more times you play together the quicker the relationship develops.
“The partnership starts to gel as you understand each other’s play and the runs you both make. I feel we’ve got that and we’re looking to continue to improve.
“Freddie [Sears] is building up his fitness and he’s looking really sharp in training. I’m sure he is itching to get more opportunities.
“There are difficult decisions for the manager to make but he wants to have as attacking players as possible to choose from when it comes to picking his team.”
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