Keane's bonus row clouds superb start
Cardiff City 0 Ipswich Town 3
Monday 27 April 2009
Roy Keane started his new job at Ipswich Town successfully in Cardiff but there is still something of a hangover from his time at Sunderland.
Keane is threatening to sue his former club over an alleged bonus should the Wearsiders stay in the Premier League this season. Keane was in charge for the first 15 games of the season, during which Sunderland collected 15 points, and is understood to consider himself entitled to a suitable proportion of bonus money should the team survive. Sunderland are making no comment.
Keane was eager to say on Saturday that there was much more to come from Ipswich. He was a model of decorum, courtesy and discretion on his return to the dugout but wanted to point out that victory was step one on a long road. But what a step it was.
Those hoping to see the former Republic of Ireland snarling, bearing a bloody mark or two round those granite features by the end and above all defeated went home disappointed.
Here was Keane, unveiled with almost unseemly haste as confirmation that they don't quite do things the same at Portman Road these days, minding his p's and q's, directing the traffic here and there and overseeing a performance that was too much for Cardiff City.
Just over half an hour was as long as it took to banish the notion that his Ipswich side were there as a sideshow to Ninian Park's main event. Had Ross McCormack not been brilliantly denied early on by Richard Wright from Cardiff's 19th penalty of the season, the home side might well routinely have used this last league game at their 99-year-old home to acquire the point they needed to be sure of a play-off place.
But the visitors' difficult start gave way to the confidence gleaned from Pablo Counago's well-executed opener and Cardiff never recovered from going further behind when David Norris struck soon after half-time. Jon Stead, sold by Keane from Wearside, made both goals and scored the third.
Yes, it's only a start, just as it was when Sunderland won at Derby in his first match as their manager in September 2006 and were then also victorious in 25 of the next 40 League games, the last of which – a 5-0 swamping of Luton Town – brought them the Championship title in 2007.
How much Ipswich supporters will enjoy their ride with him will depend on how often he can induce the sort of reaction that delivered this eye-opening result.
But, just in case the same sort of thing might be about to happen, they should perhaps buckle up and sit tight.
Cardiff City (4-4-2): Heaton; McNaughton, R Johnson, Gyepes, Kennedy; Burke, Rae (E Johnson, 76), Ledley, Parry (McPhail, 59); McCormack (Chopra, 58), Bothroyd. Substitutes not used: Purse, Comminges.
Ipswich Town (4-5-1): Wright; Peters (Quinn, 72), Bruce (Stead, 27), Balkestein, Richards; Giovani, Campo, Norris, Garvan, Lisbie; Counago (Haynes, 57). Substitutes not used: Bialkowski (gk), Miller.
Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire)
Booked: Cardiff:Gyepes, McNaughton; Ipswich Giovani, Haynes.
Man of the match: Stead.
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