KEANE AS MUSTARD
Will Keane is fired up to impress on loan at Sheffield Wednesday
HE WAS not aware of it at the time but Sheffield Wednesday’s new loanee Will Keane was endearing himself to Owls fans back in 2011 as he scored twice to deny city-rivals United in the FA Youth Cup final.
And the Manchester United youngster says he is now ready to show the Hillsborough faithful what he can do at closer quarters after finally getting off the mark last weekend.
Four years ago striker Keane was lining up alongside the likes of Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison as United beat the Blades 6-3 on aggregate to lift the FA Youth Cup.
The striker notched a goal in both legs but has since failed to impose himself on the first team at Old Trafford, seeing the likes of James Wilson jump ahead of him in the pecking order.
Missing the entirety of the 2012/13 season with a knee injury did not help, nor did failing to find the net in 14 Championship appearances in Wigan and QPR colours last term.
However, the 22-year-old finally broke his duck last Saturday, scoring a penalty at Hillsborough to salvage a point against Cardiff.
And Keane, who was on the United bench as Stoke visited Old Trafford in December, is adamant he is ready to start proving his worth.
“As a striker it is always a relief to get your first goal, so I was pleased to get off the mark against Cardiff as I felt I had been playing well and was just waiting to find the net,” he said.
“I am always confident when it comes to penalties. Even the best players in the world miss penalties, so I just backed myself, picked my spot, struck it well and I was pleased to see the goalkeeper go the wrong way and the ball hit the net.
“As a striker, getting off the mark is always important and hopefully I can continue to build on this, it was just a shame that I couldn’t score against Ipswich on Tuesday night, too.
“I am happy with my game since I came to Wednesday and that is why I came here, for game time. I think I have already got better in the few games I have played and they come thick and fast in the Championship, so I think I will only improve.
“I could have stuck around at Man United and been in and around the squad there, but I want to be playing games because that is how you will get recognised.
“I played a lot of Under-21 football with Man United this season but I feel like I have done my time there and I am ready for the next step up, which I feel the Championship is.”
Keane’s former Youth Cup winning team-mates include Tom Thorpe, Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett, three players who have graduated to the first team on occasions this season under Louis Van Gaal.
But Keane has not once regretted his decision to drop down a league and wants to knuckle down to action in the second tier.
“I have experience of playing in the Championship with both Wigan and QPR and what struck me then was just what a tough league it is,” he added.
“Everyone knows that anyone can beat anyone in this league but this season seems even more ridiculous in that regard.
“We were doing well but the wheels fell off a bit of late, but I don’t think we should panic too much.
“I think we have a really good squad and the team spirit since I have arrived has been great. This is a big club and we are certainly heading in the right direction, so hopefully I can play my part.”
KEANE AS MUSTARD: Will Keane controls the ball for Sheffield Wednesday and, inset, scoring in the FA Youth Cup final