Keane withholds Jones excitment
Black Cats boss waiting to see how strike pairing shape up
By Will Wood. Last Updated: October 18, 2008 12:52pm
Sunderland manager Roy Keane is suppressing his excitement at the prospect of fielding Djibril Cisse and Kenwyne Jones in the side's attack for the first time, with the latter poised for a return to the first XI.
"I am not really excited yet. I will be pleased when Kenwyne is back in the first-team fold."
Roy Keane Quotes of the week
Jones impressed in his debut Premier League campaign, netting seven crucial goals and helping the team to safety.
However, the Trinidad and Tobago international has been absent for The Black Cats this campaign after suffering knee ligament damage in his international side's clash with England in June, and loan signing Cisse has filled the void in the meantime with a string of sterling performances.
The France international was impressive as a lone striker in Sunderland's 1-1 draw with Arsenal two weeks ago, and while Keane admits he is relishing the thought of having both strikers in the same attack for next weekend's clash with Newcastle United, he is tempering his thoughts until Jones is on the pitch.
"I am not really excited yet. I will be pleased when Kenwyne is back in the first-team fold," Keane said.
"I suppose punters out there or media will automatically think it's a dream partnership, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.
"We believe when Kenwyne is fit and with our other strikers, they can be a handful.
"Sometimes you are only as good as your goalscorers. You see that with a lot of teams, you see that with a lot of international teams.
"If you have got somebody capable of putting the ball in the back of the net, my God, it makes a hell of a difference to you.
"But again, we all have to be patient. Kenwyne has been out for a long time. We can't expect him to come back and hit the ground running.
"But we have got a busy time ahead and if he is available for us, like young Martyn Waghorn, those two lads have got a good chance of being involved over the next few months.
"But it might need two or three reserve games for them."
Another of The Black Cats' strikers, Anthony Stokes, has joined Sheffield United on loan after failing to establish himself at the Stadium of Light following his £2 million move from Arsenal, and after watching his charge impress Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, Keane believes the youngster will benefit from regular first-team football.
"It will be nice for him to get a run of games because I keep saying, he is a talented boy," he continued.
One player that Keane will certainly have at his disposal is Andy Reid, who has fallen out of favour with Trapattoni in recent weeks, and the former Manchester United midfielder has told the 26-year old to continue his solid form domestically to force his way back into selection.
"There's nothing wrong with players getting frustrated. Players get frustrated every day of the week - I used to. It's how you channel it," Keane added.
"There is no problem with Andy. There has been a big issue made in Ireland about it, but not from our point of view. The manager over there can pick the team he wants.
"Andy didn't get in, Liam Miller didn't get in, Daryl Murphy didn't get in, Anthony Stokes didn't get in - no-one seems to be talking about them. It's no problem.
"There's no need to complicate it. If he can do well for Sunderland and keep getting selected for the Irish squads, hopefully he will get his chance."