Poor signings, not moving and bad homework... Keane must learn from his mistakes if he wants to be a winner at Ipswich

When I made mistakes at the start of my managerial career with Fulham, I got the sack.

Fortunately, Ipswich Town gave me a second chance. I learned from those mistakes and we enjoyed some great times together, winning the FA Cup and UEFA Cup and twice finishing league runners-up among them.

Now it is Roy Keane's opportunity to do the same with Ipswich.

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Roy Keane

Keane opportunity: Roy could have some good times with
Ipswich if he learns from his mistakes with Sunderland

I know he walked out on Sunderland rather than being sacked and he did win a promotion, but he is honest enough to know there were enough lows as well as highs that he needs to learn from.

I respect Roy as a person, he was always courteous towards me whenever I saw him at the Stadium of Light, which was quite frequently.

As the honorary club president of Ipswich Town, a club I still love dearly (there is a statue of a young me outside the stadium!), I want him to excel at Portman Road.

But one of Roy's attributes is speaking his mind and so I know he will not mind me pinpointing some areas I feel he has to improve on if he is to go on and be as great a manager as he was a player.

The first thing to understand is that to be successful in Suffolk, he must live in Suffolk. Not just him, but his family as well.

Regular readers know I do not think you can be successful at a club if you are not physically there. It did not work for Graeme Souness or Dennis Wise at Newcastle and, if truth be told, it quite definitely did not work for Roy at Sunderland, either.

Niall Quinn told me in an interview he felt it was good for Roy to disappear back to Manchester at times because of the pressure-cooker atmosphere in the North East. I am afraid pressure is part of the job and you just have to get on and cope with it. Roy, you have to cope with it.

Ipswich do not have an image as passionate as Sunderland's but, believe me, the people there care about their club.

For Roy to create a team and club with his mark on it, he has to be there every day, not every other day. I know it can be hard to ask your family to uproot, but it is a necessary sacrifice in football. Otherwise Roy will spend all his spare time travelling to see them rather than building for the future; scouting, talking to the academy, meeting the fans.

The second area where Roy will hopefully have learned from his Sunderland experience is in signing players. I am not questioning Roy's ability to judge a player, he has enough experience at the top levels of the game.

But I do not think he did his homework sufficiently when bringing in new players and it came back to bite him. You do not buy someone on the strength of a video or a scouting report, or seeing him once yourself.

You look at that player carefully over a period of time, research his background, ask your friends in the game and then make your move. That is why David Moyes's signings at Everton are so successful, because when he bought Tim Cahill and Joleon Lescott, he knew what he was getting.

Too many of Roy's signings at Sunderland were bad value for money. I had Michael Chopra at Newcastle and, fine forward that he is at Championship level, he is not a £5million striker, which is what Roy paid for him.

It became clear straight away that Pascal Chimbonda would not settle in Wearside after playing for Spurs. So why did Roy not recognise that when he signed him?

I think Roy does know what makes a good player, but he has to do the hard yards as a manager, just as he did as a player. There is also the question of Roy's personality.

Undoubtedly, he is a winner who will raise standards and that can only be good for Ipswich. But he has to recognise you cannot win every battle, every time.

Sir Alex Ferguson knows that, Arsene Wenger knows that. It is why they have become great managers. They pick and choose their fights. You cannot take on everybody in the modern game and win.

I have heard from the people at Sunderland that Roy could be hard work. Nobody minds the manager challenging the board or the players at times, but on other occasions he has to step back and accept losing the odd battle in order to win the war

Clubs have changed since the young Roy Keane walked in at Nottingham Forest to meet his all-powerful manager Brian Clough.

Cloughie had absolute authority at Forest, in a way I did at Ipswich, too. We negotiated players' wages as well as picking the teams. The modern manager can't do that.

Setbacks happen in football. You might lose a transfer target or become the victim of a bad refereeing decision. You take it on the chin and carry on building.

Roy has one of the loveliest clubs in the country in his hands. If he can learn from his mistakes, Ipswich may be as good to him as it was to me.