‘This was the start of our season’ - Keane hoping first goal leads to more
PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 January 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Will Keane hopes he can score the goals to give his career a boost and help fire Ipswich Town during their battle against relegation.
The striker, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Friday, opened his Ipswich account on his home debut the following day to secure a vital 1-0 victory over Rotherham at Portman Road.
Keane’s career, which began at Manchester United, has been hit by injuries in recent years and the forward is hopeful his loan from Hull can be beneficial for both him and the Blues.
“I’m absolutely delighted and it’s obviously the perfect start for me, getting the goal, but the most important thing was to get the three points at home to give the fans something to go home and cheer about,” he said.
“We’ve said there are 60 points to play for and we’ve got three of them now and we’ve said that this week was the start of our season.
“It’s definitely a good opportunity for me but my only focus is here at the moment and doing everything I can for Ipswich.
“For a striker you just want to get that first goal and I’m really pleased to have done that, but I want to kick on. There’s a long way to go and hopefully I can build on it and get a few more.
“I’ve had injuries but have been fit for a long time without being given an opportunity to play, which is even more frustrating when you’re fit but not able to play.
“That’s a massive factor for me here and I just want to show people what I can do.
“Not scoring goals affects your confidence but I’ve felt good and think I’ve been playing well previously at Hull.
“I have the belief in myself and it’s nice to be able to demonstrate that and put that chance away.
“I felt confident going into the game but obviously I know it’s going to be goals that get us out of this situation and hopefully I can score a few more.”
Keane started the game playing just off fellow new signing Collin Quaner, before playing through the middle as the lone striker during the second period.
Town’s new No.14 says he is comfortable in either role.
“I think I’m quite flexible because at Hull, when I got the opportunity to play I played more as a number nine but in the past I’ve played as a No.10 as well and have dropped a bit deeper to help link up play.
“I’m happy to do both,” he said.
“I’m desperate to play games so to come in and help the cause is great. We know it’s a challenge but it’s a great opportunity for me.”
On his goal, which came after he was given a second bite of the cherry following a Freddie Sears cross, Keane said: “I want to get myself in and around the box and between the sticks, and you know with the players we have out wide we have players who can get out there, get a ball in and it was a great cross from Searsy.
“The first one came at an awkward angle but I’m grateful that it popped back out to me and I managed to get a snap shot off which I was buzzing to see go in.”
Keane was one of four Championship debutants for the Blues, alongside Quaner, Callum Elder and James Collins, with a Simon Dawkins coming off the bench to make it five.
“It’s tough but it probably helped the likes of myself that it wasn’t just me making my debut but four of us,” he said.
“You could see the likes of James Collins at the back – such an experienced player who showed his massive presence alongside Chambo, They helped drive us through the game and we needed that.
“In the group there is a confidence to how we play and the manager’s instilled that in us.
“From what I’ve heard of the last couple of weeks the performances have been good without getting the results they deserved. We’ve capped that off but we need to get momentum now to try and get another three points.”
Keane also praised the Ipswich supporters: “You sense the atmosphere and the way the fans got behind us and it doesn’t feel like a team who were bottom of the league.
“They were brilliant and what we want to do is get more wins, so the fans is a massive driving force behind that. The manager has been great and told us what he wants from us.”