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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 12, 2008

Keane to pair Cisse and Jones against Rovers

Sunderland manager Roy Keane has admitted he still does not know if Djibril Cisse and Kenwyne Jones will form a lethal partnership.

The 27-year-old Frenchman has quickly settled back into life in the Premier League after making a season-long loan move from Marseille having previously been at Liverpool.

He scored his fourth goal for the club in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat by Portsmouth and will hope to add to his tally against Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium of Light in on Wednesday night's Carling Cup fourth round tie.

However, his partnership with last season's star man Jones has only involved a few minutes as the Trinidad and Tobago has suffered a recurrence of a knee problem.

While Keane has had to remain patient on that front, he has at least been able to comfort himself with the success of his summer swoop for Cisse.

He said: "There are gambles with every player you bring to your football club but I have to say Djibril deserves great credit.

"His attitude has been pretty good, he has not missed a training session yet and we are seeing him week in, week out getting stronger and faster and sharper.

"He has played in a few games on his own in that lone striker position and he has done well with that.

"People keep talking about this partnership with Kenwyne - it would be nice to find out if they could play together, but it doesn't seem to be happening at this moment in time because of Kenwyne's misfortune.

"But Djibril has done well. We are delighted with his return and his goals tally."

Ironically, Cisse finds himself in similar position to that of Jones after his £6million move to Wearside from Southampton last summer with goals from other players at a premium.

Keane said: "It's like a reversed role last year with Kenwyne - we don't want to be putting too much pressure on him week in, week out.

"We have all got to share the load and we have all got to contribute, particularly in terms of putting the ball in the back of the net."

Saturday's defeat was Sunderland`s third in succession and they head into on Wednesday night's game against Rovers, who will also provide the opposition at the weekend, sitting uncomfortably in 19th place in the Barclays Premier League.

However, those difficulties will be put to one side for a few hours as the Black Cats attempt to book their place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup for the first time since 2000.

Keane said: "The priority will obviously be the Premier League, but having said that, I don't think we should over-analyse it and treat this game too lightly because it is an opportunity for this club to get into the last eight of a cup competition, which we have not done for a long time."

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