McKenna on Bonne and Aluko
Thursday, 13th Jan 2022 17:01
Manager Kieran McKenna has praised Macauley Bonne and Sone Aluko, two of Town’s top performers as the Blues hammered Gillingham 4-0 at the Priestfield Stadium last Saturday.
Bonne ended his 10-game goal drought by netting his 12th goal of the season to put his hometown club 3-0 up after half an hour against the Kent side.
McKenna says the striker, on-loan with the Blues for the season from QPR but with Town keen to tie up a permanent deal, will have been relieved to end his wait for a goal but believes goals aren’t everything from his frontmen.
“I think he was happy,” he said. “Strikers, they judge themselves on goals very often and Macauley’s one of them, he’s scored goals right the way through his career, so he judges himself on goals.
“I think for the rest of us, and certainly for me, and I’ve spoken to the forwards about this, it’s very clear for me, I don’t judge the strikers just on goals, I judge them on their contribution to team, how they work for the team, on and off the ball.
“I think over the games that I’ve taken and the games I’ve seen before that, Macauley is an example of someone who has been working fantastically hard for the team, has been ready to put in every inch of effort that he has on the pitch, being ready to sacrifice himself for the team.
“His all-round game has been good, he’s been working hard. For example, the week before against Wycombe, he was involved in the goal that we scored, he was close on another couple of occasions when the goalkeeper made good saves and he was offside for a goal.
“So, for me, the difference between that and scoring one against Gillingham isn’t so great. I’m happy with him in both games, but for him it’s maybe a monkey off his back at the moment and he’s happy to have one go in.
“But I always encourage the forwards, if we’re doing the right things off the ball, if we’re making the right runs, getting in the right positions, certainly with the strikers we have, they have the quality to score goals and the goals will come as a by-product of the work they do.”
Bonne’s goal was the result of a long spell of Blues’ passing, then a sublime through ball from Aluko which played in Matt Penney down the left to cut across to the striker to tap home.
“It was a beautiful pass and obviously a lovely goal,” McKenna continued. “He’s been a joy to work with, Sone, to be honest, what a fantastic guy.
“I’d heard it from different people in the game about what a professional he is and what a good person he is, and I can only endorse that.
“He’s obviously had a really good career to this point, played in the top league, played in different countries and played international football.
“But still you watch him train every day, you speak to him and he’s got enthusiasm for the game, he wants to train hard, he wants to learn, wants to ask questions about different things. He’s a great guy to have a chat with and I’ve enjoyed picking his brain about some of his experiences across football as well.
“Sone’s had a really good impact over the last couple of weeks. Again, he is another one who is fine in different positions and in different ways that he can impact the game.
“It was a really good performance last week and the lovely pass for the goal shows the vision that he has.
“But again, even with everything that he’s done, he works so hard for the team. His reactions are good, his pressing is good and he was there on the second ball.
“So all-round, I’m really happy with him, as we are with the other players. Really happy to have him here. He’s a good influence on the younger players, a good squad man, a good team man and a great one to have around the building.”
Photos: PagePix/Matchday Images
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