Keane makes case for his place in defence

TOWN’s Keith Keane has set his sights on making the centre-half position his own at Kenilworth Road, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th September 2011, 4:00 pm

The 24-year-old started his career with Luton at right-back, but in recent times, has been occupying a central midfield berth.

Although naturally happy to play anywhere for the cause, Keane admitted he sees his long-term future in the heart of defence.

He said: “I don’t mind where I play, but my favourite position is centre-back.

“I believe that is my best position. I’ve been playing centre mid the last couple of years, but I do believe that centre-back is my best position and hopefully when everyone is fit I’ll get a chance to play there.

“I’ve spoken to the gaffer about it and I’ve just got to prove myself, so hopefully the manager will agree.

“I think I can play centre-back so we’ll see what happens.”

Keane’s versatility has been invaluable during the last three matches, as he has found himself in central defence, right-back and midfield.

There is every chance he will be called upon to fill in at full-back at the weekend too after Ed Asafu-Adjaye’s red card in Tuesday night’s 2-0 victory at AFC Telford.

He said: “That’s the way it’s looking, but Curtis (Osano) might be back so you never know what he (Gary Brabin) might be thinking. I’m just trying to play well.

“I can be training in one position all week, but then turn up on Saturday and I’m playing in another, so it’s a lottery pick at the minute.

“While there’s people injured I’m happy to fill in and as long as the team are doing well I’m happy to help the team out.”

With Hatters keeping back-to-back clean sheets and finally looking a lot more solid defensively, Keane believes the new-found solidity will only help to inspire Town’s creative players.

He added: “Clean sheets are good to give us some momentum.

“It’s positive and makes you believe if you can keep a clean sheet the forwards and the attacking midfielders can win the game for us.

“We’ve got a clean sheet and another clean sheet. It gives the attacking players confidence in the back four that they can go on and win the game as they believe we can keep a clean sheet and be nice and solid.”

Town had had to field a brand new back four during the early part of the season after a major defensive injury crisis.

Although Keane was surprised it had taken so long for the club to earn their first shut out, he felt a combination of the new players needing time to gel and mistakes being eradicated played their part.

The skipper added: “The likes of Ed (Asafu-Adjaye) have been here a few years now, but he’s playing with new players.

“They’re all good players, it’s hard to explain, because they play well the whole game and make one small mistake and get punished for it.

“We just needed to cut out that mistake in the last couple of games and it’s worked for us.

“We’ve played well in every game, but we’ve always made that mistake and it’s killed us.”