Keane fears for youngster
Town boss concedes teenager could be poached
Last Updated: March 13, 2010 7:21pm
Keane: Fears for youngster
Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane fears the club could lose promising teenager Connor Wickham until he signs a professional deal.
The 16-year-old, who turns 17 later this month, netted a brilliant injury-time winner to settle a poor contest against Scunthorpe United.
Ipswich's match with The Iron had looked destined to finish goalless prior to Wickham's intervention with both sides down to ten men.
"I'm pleased for Connor," he said. "I had a feeling he might have an influence on the game.
"I was surprised by the way it opened up for him and it was a good time to score.
"But it remains to be seen if he's a natural finisher. We'll know in the next few years."
Wickham is due to sign his first professional contract when he turns 17 on March 31.
He has previously been linked with a host of Premier League big guns and, when asked if there was a chance his young star could be poached, he continued: "There's always a danger.
"He hasn't given me a promise but his dad and agent have been speaking to the chairman and chief executive.
"All I can do is keep him involved and hopefully the contract will take care of itself.
"We believe this a good club to learn your trade at but I live in the real world and there's always dangers out there.
"There are pitfalls for lots of players, whether it be other clubs coming in, women, drugs or bad injuries.
"That's why I've never been one for getting carried away with Connor."
Keane's counterpart Nigel Adkins could not hide his disappointment at the result, stating one lapse in concentration cost them dear.
Adkins explained said: "It was very disappointing. There's no apologies for our game plan.
"Ipswich are a very good side. They play at a high tempo and pose a real threat from set plays.
"We nullified a good game of football but that was down to respect for the opposition.
"We tried to slow their tempo down but also felt we had a great opportunity to hit them on the counter-attack, which we did early on.
"We had a good solid, disciplined shape and defended resolutely, but the disappointing thing was one lapse of concentration in the 92nd minute.
"It's allowed them to go and get a vital three points.
"Now we'll regroup. We've got a good opportunity and it's about doing everything we can to keep our club in the Championship."