Nigel French/EMPICS Sport
No row

Ipswich deny training-ground fight between Roy Keane and Damien Delaney

Tractor Boys seek legal advice after some newspapers say manager and player came to blows.

ROY KEANE DID not come to blows with Ipswich Town defender Damien Delaney, according to the East Anglian club this morning.

Some tabloid newspapers report today that the two Corkmen were involved in an ‘amazing’ training-ground fight.

Ipswich have rejected the “malicious” rumours.

A statement reads: “Ipswich Town Football Club categorically refutes the malicious suggestion that an incident took place between the manager and Damien Delaney.”

The Irish Examiner reports that ‘the club has already engaged legal advice on the matter’, while sources close to Delaney corroborated the club’s version of events, insisting that “any disagreement between himself and Keane had been blown out of all proportion.”

Earlier this week, Keane had taken the time to explain Delaney’s absence from the team since the former Turner’s Cross defender was sent off in the recent derby defeat to Norwich. Said Keane:

Damien was suspended for the West Brom game when the team kept a clean sheet and I thought [Tommy Smith and Troy Brown] played reasonably well.

I didn’t think there was any reason to change it.

Damo had a run out in the reserves in the week and he’ll have a chance of being involved on Saturday.

Delaney was once again left out of Keane’s side which lost to bottom side Preston.

Twice-capped international Delaney joined Ipswich in the summer of 2009 – he was Keane’s first signing for the Tractor Boys.

After a bright start to the season, the Portman Road side are now within three points of the relegation zone after a run of six consecutive defeats.

Club owner Marcus Evans however has been patient with the former Manchester United captain.

The rumours – however untrue – add yet more negativity to Delaney’s season. The former Cork city, Leicester and Hull City player was signed by Keane for £750,000 from QPR in July last year.

Freak injury

He suffered a freak injury in pre-season which ultimately almost cost him his life. A blood clot in his thigh could have resulted in him losing a leg but he was rushed to an emergency surgery procedure that, he was told, saved his life.

He missed the first nine games of the club’s season but eventually returned to full fitness and earned a place in Keane’s side. He scored in the much-hyped derby with the Canaries, before being sent off.

Ipswich were soundly beaten 4-1 and Delaney has not returned to first-team action.