Ipswich football club have confirmed that Roy Keane has been sacked after 20 months as manager of the team.

Former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain was sacked following the teams record of seven defeats in nine league games. The team is now 19th in the league and just three points above the relegation zone.

The team have a Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal at Portman Road next Wednesday after Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Chelsea. Ian McParland, first-team coach, will take charge at Stamford Bridge.

Having heard the news Keane said “I’m hugely disappointed to be leaving Portman Road…Results haven’t been as good as I’d have hoped so far this season and when results aren’t good the manager gets the sack, that’s the game.”

He continued “However, I have a genuine belief that we were making progress and that the players have what it takes to turn this season around. We were preparing well for our visit to Chelsea on Sunday and then our Carling Cup semi with Arsenal.

"Getting to that semi proves what I know the team is capable of.  I was also working hard to build the squad during the transfer window, looking at our options to attract new players to the club.

“I have loved my time at Ipswich, living locally to the club with my family, and have a massive respect for the club, its staff, the fans and the community and I wish them well.”

Simon Clegg, Portman Road chief executive earlier this morning confirmed that Keane had left the club. He said “the results speak for themselves” but he praised Keane’s “dignity in difficult circumstances” and praised him as an “awesome individual”.