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Keane looks forward to Pablo return

PUBLISHED: 08:43 28 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:06 06 July 2010

BLUES boss Roy Keane believes Pablo Counago can be a big player for Town this season after the Spaniard rejected the chance to join Swansea City.

Ipswich Town accepted an offer, believed to be somewhere between £300,000 and £500,000, for the 29-year-old but after initial talks Counago told the Swans he wanted to stay with the Blues and Keane was happy with that decision.

BLUES boss Roy Keane believes Pablo Counago can be a big player for Town this season after the Spaniard rejected the chance to join Swansea City.

Ipswich Town accepted an offer, believed to be somewhere between £300,000 and £500,000, for the 29-year-old but after initial talks Counago told the Swans he wanted to stay with the Blues and Keane was happy with that decision.

“That is no problem with me. The club felt the offer was acceptable and I spoke to Pablo but it was up to the boy.

“He has a contract here and we have to respect that.

“Pablo is not quite fit but could be back with the group next week and I have absolutely no problem with that.

“He knows he is in for a challenge because I have a set of strikers here. That is football. He has to face the challenge and hopefully he is up for it.”

A groin injury has curtailed any involvement for Counago in the first team, although he has an outside chance of playing against Real Valladolid, but Keane is already well aware of the Spaniard's capability after seeing him score against Cardiff and Coventry at the end of last season.

Keane said: “Pablo got two goals in two games so that is not too bad. As we have seen against Colchester again I don't feel the striking department is the strongest at the club at the moment.

“The funny thing about football is Pablo could well end up staying here and having a big contribution - that is football.”

Jordan Rhodes grabbed a goal, after Magnus Okuonghae had put past his own keeper, to give Town a 2-0 win over Colchester United, although it came at a price.

“It was a good work out.

“The first half was a bit slow from our point of view but the second was a lot better. We kept the ball well and mixed up our play a lot better.

“We were perhaps a bit predictable in the first half and we just let the game go by us a little and did lot better second half.

“I'm very pleased with the players' attitude again, because these games can sometimes be distracting with the celebration atmosphere but they stayed focused because we knew Colchester would be.

“The downside is injuries with Lee Martin and Liam Trotter both suffering hamstring problems.

“We will see how they are Monday and have a better idea of how they are.”

Town were without Alan Quinn, Kevin Lisbie and Shane Supple on Saturday but Keane expects all three to play this week at either Charlton or Chelmsford.

He quipped: “They are all groin injuries so we may have to look at their social lives.”

He then added: “I'm confident all will be involved Tuesday or Wednesday. Pablo and Ben (Thatcher) are still a bit short of fitness though.”

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