Kieran McKenna: Championship manager of season says Ipswich will ‘give it everything’

Kieran McKenna: Championship manager of season says Ipswich will ‘give it everything’

15 April 2024 0 By Total Football News
Ipswich's Kieran McKenna with his Championship manager of the season award
Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna is Championship manager of the season

Kieran McKenna says Ipswich will “give it everything” in their bid to clinch promotion after he was named Championship manager of the season.

Town are one point clear at the top of the table with three games left as they look to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

Although they drew with Middlesbrough in their last game, chief rivals Leicester and Leeds were both beaten.

“It’s going to go down to the last week,” said head coach McKenna.

“We just broke the [points] record for any newly promoted team in the Championship, 89 points – I’m not sure any team in the history of the EFL has got 90 points two seasons in a row and we’ve got a chance to do that.”

Securing a top-two finish will not be easy for the Tractor Boys as their next two games are away, at Hull and Coventry, who are just outside the play-off places, before a home match against Huddersfield.

But McKenna believes a break until Saturday’s trip to Humberside will be good for his players.

“Some of the boys have played five games in the last 15 days, played 90 minutes every game – we’d like to have a little more depth in one or two positions,” he said following the 1-1 draw with Boro.

“That’s an awful lot of football and every game’s gone to the wire. We’re the team that runs the most in the league, the boys put everything into it physically, and I think we’ll come back from the period stronger.”

He added: “Now we’ve got a little bit of time to train, prepare, recover and then we can look forward to three games. We know it’s going to be really tough, but it’s something to relish and I know we’ll give it everything.”

McKenna’s managerial honour was confirmed at Sunday’s English Football League (EFL) awards – when Wes Burns’ strike in a 2-1 win over Coventry in December was named Championship goal of the season.

The other nominees for manager of the season were Leeds United boss Daniel Farke and Hull City’s Liam Rosenior.

Ipswich have won 73 out of 129 games since McKenna arrived from Manchester United in December 2021, losing only 20, and former captain Mick Mills said his accolade was “well deserved”.

Mills told BBC Radio Suffolk: “He’s been absolutely superb ever since he’s been here.

“It became apparent very quickly that his forte was on the training ground.

“The training ground is his domain. He’s in charge of that area and every player that has played under him will say the same thing, they’ve improved – and they’ve improved because of the type of things he gives them and the way he explains it to them.

“The other thing that’s impressed me is his strength of character. He plays a risky game of football – he’s a Pep Guardiola man playing out from the back, and they don’t moan if it goes wrong.

“The man who asks his team to play that way must stay firm and strong, and he does. And it filters through to everybody.”

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