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Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Monday, 20 September 2010 15:48 UK

Lay off Connor Wickham, says Ipswich boss Roy Keane

Connor Wickham
Wickham made his first start of the season against Cardiff on Saturday

Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane has called for the press to stop overhyping young striker Connor Wickham.

The 17-year-old made his first start of the season amid continued expectation about his career.

Keane told BBC Radio Suffolk: "There's too much now, give the boy a chance. The fact that the question's been asked, we'll end up talking about him.

"He's returned from injury, if we think we're going to have a good season down to one player you're sadly mistaken."

Wickham is at the front of a line of prospects coming through the Portman Road youth system, but Keane is eager to make sure they are not overexposed.

"We're pleased to have good young players coming through like Tom Easton, Reggie Lambe and one or two others, it always helps a manager when you have some good young players," Keane added.

"You've got to relax on these people and give them a chance to mature and learn their trade.


"We have to support them and not build them up to be something they're not yet."

The Town boss has made it clear he wants to bring in more players to help take the strain off his young squad.

Despite Ipswich's impressive start to the season - they sit second in the Championship - Keane is actively chasing loan signings, but has so far found little success.

"There are three areas where I think we're short on cover," he said.

"We're a long way away from strengthening the squad, I know we mentioned two weeks ago we that we're hopefully getting a player signed but I can't say we're too much nearer with that deal.

"We're getting away with it at the moment because the players are putting in a good shift but I feel over forty matches it might catch up with us."

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see also
Town boss handed Wickham dilemma
16 Sep 10 |  Ipswich
Keane plays down Wickham return
13 Sep 10 |  Ipswich
Ipswich looking for Premier loan
09 Sep 10 |  Ipswich
Wickham concentrates on Ipswich
04 Jun 10 |  Ipswich

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