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Keane: I Got Recruitment Wrong at Town
Thursday, 26th Aug 2021 18:55

Former Town boss Roy Keane believes recruitment was where he got things wrong during his time in charge at Portman Road and admitted he lost confidence and had doubts in his 20 months with the Blues.

The former Republic of Ireland international spent an unhappy 20 months at Town between April 2009 and January 2011, spending significant sums on players such as Tamas Priskin and Lee Martin as he unsuccessfully sought to take the Blues into the Premier League.

Speaking at length with his former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville in his The Overlap YouTube show, Keane talked about his time in management with the Blues and more successfully at Sunderland, who he took into the top flight in 2006/07 when they won the Championship title.

Town was his last management job, although he has worked as an assistant to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland and at Aston Villa to another ex-Blues manager Paul Lambert, but he says he’s keen to have another go.

“Sunderland were second bottom of the Championship, Sunderland was a great club for me, but there was pluses at Ipswich. I think there is something in there where I could be a good manager. That’s what’s kind of pulling at me to go back in.”

Reflecting on his two previous jobs in management, he said: “Where I got it right at Sunderland was the recruitment. I got it wrong at Ipswich. The best players are not always the best characters and I think that’s the hardest part.

“Do I look back at my coaching and my staff and think we got that really wrong? No, I don’t think I was really doing too much different to Sunderland.

“At Ipswich, what I was doing round the training ground and the pitch, how I dealt with people, I think that was one of my strengths, motivating people.

“When you’ve a good group, you’ve a good group, it’s as simple as that. Even when I was at Sunderland and we won a few matches, people were making out that we were doing something extraordinary, we weren’t. We were just having good training sessions, we got momentum.”

Keane says winning his opening two games with the Blues, a 3-0 victory at Cardiff and then a 2-1 home success over Coventry, ultimately proved to be a poor indicator of the club's position.

“The worst thing that happened to me at Ipswich was I won my first two matches which was at the end of the season, so when we won the first two matches I was thinking ‘Maybe it’s not so bad down there, maybe it’s not a big rebuild’,” he said.

“And then we lost one or two players and we started the season. In my first season at Ipswich I think we didn’t win for the first 14 or 15 matches. We got seven or eight draws, but as we know draws don’t get you anywhere fast.

“And then at the start of my second season, I had the dreaded chat with the owner [Marcus Evans] when he was in my office and we’re on the tactics board, ‘Why is he playing there?’ and you’re looking going ‘This is not right’.

“I knew my days were numbered when I was explaining to the owner why he’s playing right-back, why’s he playing left-back. I think I obviously learned more from my time at Ipswich than I did at Sunderland.”

Asked later where his lowest point in football was, when he lost his confidence and had doubts about himself, he said: “I think when I was a manager at Ipswich probably.”

Photo: Action Images

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Knightsy added 19:00 - Aug 26
No Sh1t Sherlock.... No 1 cock up was letting Jordan Rhodes go.

martin587 added 19:02 - Aug 26
Totally incompetent as a manager and the man management was atrocious.

Vancouver_Blue added 19:09 - Aug 26
Great player, sh!t manager

ScottCandage added 19:09 - Aug 26
No, really?

itfchorry added 19:14 - Aug 26
Terrible mistake - Should have stuck by
Jim Magilton

runningout added 19:18 - Aug 26
it was going wrong before Roy Keane turned up

YorkshireBlue1967 added 19:19 - Aug 26
Keane was a disaster!
Jim Magilton was doing a good job - should have stuck with him!

yorkieblue62 added 19:32 - Aug 26
Not the first top player to find management a different ball game....look at the list of Town legends

chopra777 added 19:34 - Aug 26
Look at Wayne Rooney's career becoming a manager, having a good experienced assistant is a great benefit. RK was a great player, but he got lucky at Sunderland and failed us badly. PC is winless so far this season but will have a better record than RK by the end of the season. Plus give us more entertainment. No assistant but better backroom staff. Tractor Boys to trash the Wombles.

JaySwitch added 19:34 - Aug 26

Len_Brennan added 19:36 - Aug 26
He still doesn't get it. He took Sunderland up because he had a squad that had won promotion 2 seasons early still pretty much in tact, plus another 2 or 3 better player bought for the Premier League. They had a poor start because they had gotten used to losing the previous season. There, to be fair to him, was a 'Keane Factor' there when he arrived as it was a massive appointment & everyone was enthused by having such a winner taking over the reigns. He also spent a fortune on the players he brought in, many of whom didn't get many starts after a while. So, ultimately, a club relegated from the Premier League, with parachute payments & the best squad in the Championship, won the Championship after a bad start - good but not exactly Leicester win the Premier League.
With us, his managerial star had already dipped & there were already stories of players not being happy under him at Sunderland, so he was never going to have the same impact that he did there.
Our best player before he came in was Jon Walters, who'd had a great season playing on the right side of midfield or right-sided attacker; but then Keane spashes out £1.7m on Carlos Edwards. A great footballer & servant to us no question, but we didn't need him, while that money could have sorted out our defence. It also hastened the exit of Walters, who he treated appallingly. At least he managed to get £3m for him despite his ostracisation.
The thing with Priskin was really odd; it was like he'd never seen him play before spending £1.9m on him. We saw in the cup semi final after Keane left what kind of ball he wanted & how effective he could be when he got it to his feet, hold it, or turn the defender; despite signing him for big money he never set the team up to play to his main striker's strength. He then went about undermining him, which really put an end to any chance he had of coming good. I still feel a bit sorry for Priskin, as there was a decent player in there, but he goes down as one of our most expensive flops.
Maybe Keane is right, he recruitment was a big part of it after all.
His appointment was a disaster; after he squandered millions on transfer fees & wages, Evans pulled the plug & we never saw it again. Jewell was told to go with a cynical free transfer old pro policy that was doomed to fail & by the time Mick came in we were in disarray.

Elwood added 19:41 - Aug 26
Here's a list of the things he got right


bucket99 added 20:25 - Aug 26
Regardless of the state of the team when he arrived, there is no doubt that it was much much worse by the time he left. The effects lasted a long time.

BlueBadger added 20:29 - Aug 26
He got the recruitment wrong.

And the tactics, the selections, the motivation....

ArnieM added 20:31 - Aug 26
“ I got the recruitment wrong “………. AND THE REST, you utter tool!

ThaiBlue added 20:32 - Aug 26
Was rubbish at town and aint much better on the tv,arogant man.

Bluearmy_81 added 20:34 - Aug 26
"His appointment was a disaster; after he squandered millions on transfer fees & wages, Evans pulled the plug & we never saw it again."

And for year Town fans just accepted he wasn't going to invest any more and said things like "it's his club, he can do what he wants..." 🤢🤢🤮 No protests. No demanding better for ITFC. Just passive resigned acceptance. Like cuckholds!! Shocking, shocking 'support...' Never again ffs

ITFC_Spell_Correct added 20:40 - Aug 26


Saxonblue74 added 20:47 - Aug 26
Don't give him the air time. In fact, just don't give him air!

dirtydingusmagee added 21:25 - Aug 26
history, bye Roy .

carlo88 added 22:04 - Aug 26
he's strangely likeable now, must have mellowed.

Countryboyblue added 22:15 - Aug 26
Let’s be honest here, no manager has done well under the Evans era. I.e he was the problem, they all can’t be wrong.

xrayspecs added 23:14 - Aug 26
No Roy.

You cannot blame this on recruitment no matter how hard you are trying to rewrite history to get you another lucrative job.

You were an appalling manager and an appalling people manager.

While PC cannot touch your playing CV, he is a hundred times the manager you were, or ever will be.


OwainG1992 added 23:35 - Aug 26
@countryboyblue I would argue Mick did a good job.
Football was dire and he was the master of his own downfall with the fans but with the terrible lack of backing he actually did a fine job all in all.
I know we've all said it a million times but why couldn't Evans have backed Mick that January in 2015!

4everblue added 00:44 - Aug 27
Keane could be a great manager if he learns from the past. Seems he may have. I say get him in if Cooooooooook fails.

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