Tate backing Keane to flourish

16 October 2009 04:22
Alan Tate believes Roy Keane should not shoulder all the blame for Ipswich's poor start to the season. Defender Tate will be reunited with his former Manchester United club mate when Swansea visit Portman Road on Saturday. But the 27-year-old, who used to clean Keane's boots as a youth team player at United, hopes Ipswich's winless start continues until after the weekend. "I don't know if he's struggled, but I know the team has struggled," Tate told BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page. "They've had a transitional period. Although Roy came in at the end of last season, he lost a lot of players who he had on loan so it was a case of bringing his own players in and those players getting used to his ideas. "I don't think you can just blame the manager for where they are. "If you've got someone in like that who's probably the most influential player this country's ever seen, people have got to learn from him. "If they don't want to learn from him then he's got to ship those players out. "It's the same as us. We've got a manager who's come in and won everything and if you don't listen and want to learn from him then you should leave." Keane enjoyed a highly successful playing career, most notably his 12 years at Man Utd, eight of which were as captain. During that time, he won seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League in 1999. As a manager, Keane led Sunderland to the Premier League at the first attempt in 2007, before leaving the end of the following year. He returned to management in April, succeeding Jim Magilton at Ipswich, but this season the Tractor Boys are bottom of the Championship with five draws and six defeats from their opening 11 games. "It's a tight league and anyone can beat any team at any given time and they will be looking to turn their form around this weekend and we are looking to continue ours," said Tate, whose Swansea side are unbeaten in five. "With the manager they've got and where they are in the league, they will be giving it their most to get out of it. "Everyone knows wins breed confidence and we are on a decent run at the moment. "The international break probably came at the wrong time for us and the right time for Ipswich." Tate agrees with suggestions that Keane's fault lies with his high expectations of his players, "He's a once in a generation type of player and no-one's going to be as big an influence as he's been but I think he will get to realise that eventually," added Tate. "I hope he does get it right, but not this weekend." Tate also defended Keane's public persona insisting he's a "nice guy" but admits to feeling his wrath at United for forgetting to clean his boots. "I wasn't too keen on doing them but it's something you have to do as a kid and you are learning your game," he said. "I missed doing them once. I was too interested in messing around with the lads my own age. I never forgot after that."

Source: BBC_Sport