Keane: Getting Run of Games Has Been Great For Me
Monday, 2nd Mar 2020 19:11
Will Keane has already reached a personal landmark in the current campaign by making more starts for Ipswich than he managed in previous injury-plagued seasons for any of his former clubs.
Saturday’s narrow 2-1 defeat at Blackpool represented the striker’s 13th League One start and with nine substitute appearances to his credit it means he has featured in 22 of the club’s 34 league games so far.
Keane, who was on loan from Hull last season and signed a permanent deal at Portman Road last August, said: “The main objective this season as a team was to get promoted but for me it was about staying fit and getting as many starts as possible to show I was over my injuries.
“It’s been good to do that and I need to ensure I’m fit and healthy so that I’m involved in all the games through to the end of the season and see where we end up.
“Getting a run of games has been great for me. I’m enjoying it and getting fitter all the time, but I’d feel a lot better if we’d had some better results. It’s now time for us to stand up and be counted.”
Town take on Fleetwood tomorrow and leaders Coventry are the visitors on Saturday – two huge fixtures that will go a long way to determining whether Paul Lambert’s men can give their promotion challenge the kiss of life or whether their dreams will disappear in the space of four days.
Keane added: “The gaffer has said all along that he has belief in the squad but we can’t keep making the same errors and shooting ourselves in the foot. He knows that if we’re playing as we can there’s no reason why we still can’t do it.
“What do I expect from Fleetwood? It’s going to be a tough game, isn’t it? Earlier on in the season when we played them they were 4-3-3 but they have changed it of late.
“They have a lot of tricky players and they have a decent amount of power up front.
“We’re aware of the threats they pose but we’re at home and we need to think about ourselves. If we can do the right things there’s no reason why we can’t come out on top.
“They have put a good run of results together and they’ve been unlucky at times, like against Sunderland when they conceded at the death or they would have taken all three points instead of just one that day.
“They will see this as a big opportunity to progress further so we have to make sure we’re on our game and react the right way after the setback on Saturday at Blackpool.
“We’ve had meetings – manager, staff and players – and the manager always lets the lads say their piece and add their input about where we can improve.
“We’ve got senior players like Chambo and Skusey, who have been there and done it, but we all need to be leaders on the pitch. If there’s something to be said, we need to say it as long as it’s in a constructive way. It’s all about helping your team-mates and getting behind each other.
“Before we played Blackpool we were looking to get three wins on the bounce but that didn’t go too well so now it’s about getting two in the next few days.”
The Fleetwood and Coventry games are likely to come too early for Kane Vincent-Young as he works hard to improve hit fitness after a long absence through injury. Keane said: “Kane is such a good attacking player down the right side and he’s a massive threat every time he’s on the pitch.
“We’re all looking forward to his return and he’s not too far away. We know what he can do and when he’s back to his best he will lift the players as well as the fans.”
Keane featured as a lone striker at the weekend and he added: “If I’m playing up front on my own, and I’m dropping deeper and holding the ball up, we need to make sure we’ve got at least one lad threatening in behind. You don’t want to be too isolated and we’ve got the players to get up the pitch and get into scoring areas.
“The likes of Freddie and Bish both have the pace to do it and with Freddie being a striker for most of his career he has the instinct to get in the box and score.
“Bish can get at people, link the play and make things happen and Judgey is always trying to create something too.”
One of Town’s biggest problems this season has been to make their domination count, the defeat at Blackpool the latest example of how costly it can be to not take your chances and combine it with also conceding sloppy goals, a lethal mix that guarantees you are not always going to get the outcome you might deserve.
Keane continued: “In the game against Oxford we maybe didn’t have a lot of clear-cut chances in the first half but we had enough decent opportunities we could have made more of.
“When you’re on top but fail to score and then you concede it’s like a double blow. You’re gutted you’re not winning but then the opposition score and it hurts all the more.
“But it’s not a lack of self-belief, at least that’s my own personal view and I can only speak for myself. I’m still confident that if I get a chance I’ll score. As a striker you just have to keep trying to get in there and make it count.
“Of course, it’s also about trying to create things for others. When I was playing with Nors and Jacko, for example, they were such a threat in behind so maybe the onus was on me to link the play and get on the ball to try to thread balls through.
“Right now I am having a run in the team and it would be good to look back on a good ending to the season with wins and me assisting or even getting among the goals.
“But winning’s the main thing – that’s always more important than anything else and this is a huge few days for us.”
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