KIERAN MCKENNA ISSUES IPSWICH TOWN VERDICT AFTER PLYMOUTH ARGYLE DEFEAT

Kieran McKenna believes his team still have work to do when it comes to managing games and the swing of momentum in their fixtures, as he told BBC Sport they haven’t ‘managed it well enough.’

The former Man United coach has been excellent since his arrival at Portman Road, with the manager turning the Tractor Boys into one of the teams to watch in League One. He took over midway through the last season and made them extremely hard to beat in the third tier.

It made them one of the favourites for a promotion this campaign and they have so far lived up to that billing by storming to second in the division so far. In fact, prior to their Plymouth defeat, they had not lost a single game in the league as of yet.

Now though, the side still have a very good record of ten games played and just one loss. They’d have liked to retain their position at the very top of the standings but after a 2-1 defeat to Argyle at the weekend, they have now dropped down to second.

Having held the lead in that fixture and ended up falling short, McKenna has now spoken to BBC Sport about his team and their need to handle the ‘momentum swing’ in games.

He clearly feels that the side can’t deal with going from the team on top to the team chasing the game and needing to get back into it – and said that it is something his side will need to improve on the grass. Speaking about it then, he said: “I thought we were good value for 1-0 and were the team massively in the ascendancy. We put ourselves in a great position to win the game and were creating more chances to put the game to bed.

“Of course, it you don’t go and get the [second] goal there’s always a chance one can go in at the other end and as soon as it does the momentum changes, and we haven’t managed that momentum swing well enough. We’ve spoken about how we manage those momentum swings but it’s something we still need to improve on the grass.”

The Verdict

Kieran McKenna is a very good manager and one loss to Plymouth at the weekend isn’t going to change that, nor is it going to make them a team in freefall now.

Ipswich will non doubt dust themselves off and go again in their next game and they will still be strong contenders for a promotion push in League One. Argyle did very well to pull off the victory over the Tractor Boys and it shows how strong they will be this year but Kieran McKenna’s side themselves will be right up there.

They’ll learn from this defeat and will make themselves even better – a worrying thought for the rest of the third tier teams. Having lost only once in the league so far, it is an impressive feat and even if they were to drop into the play-offs, you would fancy them to go up still.

They are the team to watch in League One and McKenna has made them as much – and he will continue to do so this season.

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