Keane: Ipswich move was always in the pipeline
Town striker Will Keane has spoken about his move to Ipswich following a tough summer regaining his fitness and his hopes for the season alongside breaking up the deadly duo.
“I really enjoyed my time here last season because I was playing well, enjoying my football and enjoying playing under the manager.
“That’s why I was so keen to come back and what better than to be part of a promotion push and getting the club back to where it should be?
“It was a tough summer dealing with another injury setback. I was also out of contract but I was confident that once I got myself fit I would get something sorted.
“I was focusing more on the rehab side of it – that was my priority. Obviously, you get a bit anxious when the lads are back for pre-season training and it took a few weeks, back and forth, to get the move all sorted. I really believed in myself and was glad to get back here.
“To be fair, Hull looked after me. I went back there and did parts of my rehab with them.
“I think the move back to Ipswich was always in the pipeline. There was contact throughout the summer, on and off, and the first couple of months were just about me getting myself right.
“They kept in touch and they spoke to Hull about where I was up to fitness-wise then the negotiations picked up again from there. I was always hoping it would happen and when it did it was really pleasing.”
Did he have other options? “I think there were a couple of rumours and a few sniffs about potentially joining clubs for training, but nothing concrete,” he admitted.
“I knew the interest was definitely there from Ipswich because after I was here last season the manager made it clear he would like to get me back if I managed to get myself fit.
“I managed to do that and my main intention was always to get right and to get back here.”
“I had three years there and got to know the staff really well. I had a couple of injuries there and the medical staff always took great care of me, which I really appreciated, and I wish Hull well this season.”
Keane made his second debut for Town on Saturday as a late substitute against Doncaster, something he had been looking forward to since re-signing for the club last month.
“It was a great feeling to come off the bench on Saturday, especially coming on at Portman Road because I’d been there watching the previous couple of games and the atmosphere was terrific,” Keane said.
“The fans have got right behind the team and we’re giving them something to cheer about at the minute with being up at the top of the table. We’ve just got to keep it going.
“I’ve had no reaction, no problems. I feel great and with the games coming thick and fast I’m just itching to get as many minutes as possible. Hopefully, I’ll be called upon soon.”
Keane is well aware he faces a challenge to get into the starting eleven after the start current strike pair James Norwood and Kayden Jackson have made.
“They have both started on fire and have got quite a few goals, which is great. As I’ve said before, the main goal is to get promoted and we need individuals, everyone, to be producing.
“There will be moments when certain lads aren’t going to be at their best and other lads will have to come in and step up. As long as we’re all pulling in the right direction the competition for places is a good thing for the team.
“Kayden and Nors have been really impressive. Obviously, I was with Kayden last season and saw what he is capable of doing. He’s got great talent and it was tough for him last year because he probably didn’t really get a proper run in the team.
“But you can see he had a really good pre-season, the way he has started the season so well and looked so sharp, while Nors is a natural goalscorer and hopefully they can keep producing the goals because it’s only going to help benefit the team.
“Could we play as a three? I don’t see why not. I like to think we complement each other and we bring different strengths to the team.
“It all depends on the manager and what sort of formation he wants to play but I’m sure we would all enjoy that and we would be an attacking force.”
Asked when he envisaged being back to his best, Keane added: “Hopefully not long. I’d like to get a few more minutes in the next couple of games and then, after I’ve had a few starts, I’ll get my full match sharpness back.
“In training I felt sharp and fit and now that I’m playing again the aim is to get a goal as soon as possible and kick on from there.
“Both Kayden and Nors have been getting goals, which is what we’re here to do, and if I can start chipping in as well it’s going to give us an even better chance of being up there at the end of the season.
“I’m ready to start if that’s what the manager wants but I like to think my best years are still to come.
“I think I’m still young enough at 26 and I’ve got my injuries out of the way now. There’s no reason why I can’t keep playing for a long time.
“This is a great opportunity to contribute and be part of the success here and I don’t see any reason why I can’t be here for a few years.”