‘As long as I don’t get isolated I enjoy it’ - Keane happy to play as Ipswich’s lone striker
PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 December 2019
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Will Keane feels comfortable playing as a lone striker for Ipswich Town but admitted the system only works if he is adequately supported.
The former Hull man has often been asked to play up front on his own this season, mainly in cup competitions, and did so again on Saturday as he scored in the Blues' 1-1 FA Cup draw with Coventry.
The 26-year-old has at times found himself isolated in that role, with the Town midfield sitting deep and not offering enough support in the final third, but there were signs of the system working with more success at St Andrew's on Sunday.
It's a role Keane doesn't mind playing, but the striker did stress it only works if he is supported from midfield and wide areas.
"It definitely helps when I drop a bit deeper at times that we've got those runners getting beyond," Keane said.
"The manager's stressed that before the game that the likes of Nolo (Jon Nolan) are definitely capable of getting in behind and the two wingers get inside to link up. I thought at times we did that really well.
"I feel comfortable playing that and have done it a lot, to be fair, playing down the middle on my own. As long as you've got players to link up with and you don't get too isolated I enjoy it.
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"It was nice to be up there on my own.
"Any striker wants to get goals and I felt like in the first Lincoln game I didn't get many opportunities and then in the second game with them I maybe came close a few times.
"I feel like my performances have been getting there but it's nice to cap it off with a goal because it's what I'm in the team to do. I aim to try and score in every game so it's good to do that."
Keane's goal, which saw him connect nicely with Alan Judge to turn the ball home, was his second of a season which has yet to truly ignite following a hamstring injury.
But the striker now feels fully fit and insisted he would be fit to play again when the Blues travel to Peterborough in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday evening.
"I feel fully fit," Keane said.
"I've obviously not had as many game as I would like and I think maybe I could get an extra bit of sharpness with a couple more games in quick succession, but the medical staff and coaches are monitoring it and think I'm in a good place fitness-wise.
"If needed I will be (ready to play on Wednesday) because I have the minutes under my belt and I'm feeling good, so we'll see what the manager thinks."