13 December ~ After slipping to a sixth consecutive defeat on Saturday, Roy Keane declared his Ipswich side's performance was not good enough and stated he needed to look at himself in the mirror. Ipswich fans will be hoping he sees some divine inspiration in his reflection after their season reached a new low at the weekend.
Even the most pessimistic Ipswich fan could have expected a win at Preston. They are, after all, bottom of the league and don't look like vacating that spot anytime soon. Instead they lost 1-0, making their record nine defeats in their last 11 games. The Ipswich faithful have stuck by Keane and given him the benefit of the doubt but this run, which included a 4-1 hammering by Norwich, has led fans to question his tactics.
Keane bemoaned the lack of experience his two centre-halves, aged 20 and 21, had on Saturday and he believed that had a bearing on the result. He did, however, leave 29-year-old centre-back Damien Delaney out of the squad completely despite the lack of experience in defence. It is decisions like this that are frustrating Ipswich fans and they now feel the need to protest about the manager's future at the next home game. Admittedly, the team have a considerable injury list, including 17-year-old wonderboy Conor Wickham, but that is no excuse for Keane (although he has bemoaned this fact nine times in the last 11 matches).
Rumours have already begun circulating concerning a successor, with Glenn Roeder reportedly ready to step in to the hot-seat, but owner Marcus Evans seems loathe to dispense with the services of a man he appointed 18 months ago. With their next two matches against an in-form Watford and an improving Leicester side, Keane's reflection is sure to show a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He insists he will not walk away and the Ipswich hierarchy insist he will not be sacked. With this impasse, it could continue to be a disappointing season for the supporters. Matt Green