Keane living on borrowed time after Holt's hat-trick has Norwich celebrating
Norwich City 4 Ipswich Town 1
Monday 29 November 2010
As a player Roy Keane was a derby-day winner more often than not when he wore the colours of Manchester United, Nottingham Forest or Celtic but his first taste of East Anglian rivalry has left him admitting his future as the Ipswich Town manager is becoming more and more precarious.
The Irishman insisted he considered his own position constantly anyway, regardless of the score, but a hat-trick from Norwich's captain Grant Holt helped inflict a fourth straight loss upon a team that is now hovering above the relegation zone having been in the play-off positions just a few weeks ago.
"When you lose it creates pressure but that's the nature of the job," he said. "You know that when you come into it. It was pretty tough last year when we didn't win for 15 games but this year the expectation has gone up. I analyse my position every single day and that doesn't change. And it's not going to get any easier."
Keane walked out on Sunderland in 2008 but there is no indication yet that Ipswich owner Marcus Evans has lost patience with him, even if many supporters will have following Town's heaviest derby defeat in the league.
To his credit, Keane made no attempt to gloss over his side's shortcomings by criticising referee Keith Hill for the 37th-minute dismissal of defender Damien Delaney, which swung the game Norwich's way. Instead, he criticised his own man for the dozy defending that had allowed Holt to steal possession. "It doesn't matter what I think about the sending off, let's not waste our time and energy," he said. "The ball should have been cleared, simple as that."
It was a similar story in the 13th minute when Holt dispossessed Darren O'Dea to score the first. Delaney headed home an equaliser but Holt had made it 2-1 by accepting a defence-splitting pass from newcomer Henri Lansbury, the on-loan Arsenal midfielder, before the Ipswich defender was dismissed.
The 10 men tightened up after the break in the hope of nicking an equaliser on the break but could not hold on indefinitely. Chris Martin set Holt up for his hat-trick and then repeated the favour for substitute Wes Hoolahan. "He was unplayable at times," Holt's manager, Paul Lambert, said afterwards.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Ruddy; R Martin, Barnett, Ward, Lappin; Lansbury (Smith 80), Crofts, Fox, Surman (Hoolahan 64); C Martin, Holt (Jackson 85). Substitutes not used Rudd (gk), Nelson, Johnson, McNamee.
Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Fulop; Zuiverloon (Fallon 70), Delaney, O'Dea, Smith; Edwards, Norris, Leadbitter, Colback; Priskin (Brown 85), Scotland (Healy, 42). Substitutes not used Murphy (gk), O'Connor, Livermore, Civelli.
Referee: K Hill (Hertfordshire)
Booked: Norwich Holt, Jackson, Lansbury; Ipswich Colback, Leadbitter, Norris.
Sent off: Ipswich Delaney (37)
Man of the match: Holt
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