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McKenna: Back Three Have Been Very Important
Thursday, 27th Jan 2022 16:26

Manager Kieran McKenna has praised his back three, who he believes have given his side a solid base.

Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson have started all five of McKenna’s games in charge, keeping three clean sheets, having initially come together as a trio in interim boss John McGreal’s final match against Sunderland.

Behind them in goal, Christian Walton has played all but one of McKenna's matches, his first game against Wycombe which ended 1-0 to the Blues with Vaclav Hladky between the sticks.

“They've been very important,” McKenna said. “Obviously, that is an area of the pitch where I would like to have more consistency and probably not so many changes game to game and be able to build from a solid base.

“I think when we do that and we're able to do that, it enables us to have more flexibility higher up the pitch in terms of what system and positions we want to fill, and also in terms of personnel.

“So having that consistent basis for the last few games has been helpful. All the players in that unit are doing well, I feel like the system helps them all and suits them all in different ways, and they've obviously been keeping a good number of clean sheets but also contributing in attack.

“George [Edmundson] and Janoi [Donacien] have been very aggressive with overlapping and underlapping runs, and Luke [Woolfenden] in the middle of that has been distributing the ball well and organising and leading the backline.

“So, we're happy with the balance and we're happy with the personnel. Obviously, we have Cameron Burgess behind that, who is training well, an experienced player, and ready to contribute when we need him. So I'm happy with the options that we've got.”

Photos: Matchday Images

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HighgateBlue added 16:32 - Jan 27

cat added 17:33 - Jan 27
A good side is built from the back. With GE, JD and LW we have three solid defenders who are comfortable on the ball. Great to see the LW kicking on as he’s one of our own! Nothing more satisfying.

Suffolkboy added 18:42 - Jan 27
KM is communicating ‘belief ‘ , enthusiasm and progress step by certain step !
Good Man !

Carberry added 18:53 - Jan 27
Thought they were impressive at Wimbledon, showed plenty of authority and confidence with the ball. Very refreshing to see footballers playing at the back, they are all easy on the ball and aren't scared stiff when they get it. Donacian and Burns really did link up well.
And by the way, what must it be like to get your club back when it has been taken away from you and sent up the M1, miles away. They really have achieved something special to start again and get back up the Leagues. It's a very tidy stadium but the size of it shows the limit of their ambitions.

Jonaldo added 05:39 - Jan 28
The guy talks sense and is careful with his complements, basing them on consistency rather than one-off contributions.

None of this stuff is new or difficult. At every level of football a solid defensive unit is always essential. Look at what Arsene Wenger did at Arsenal when he first came in! Consistency at the back, player rotation and variation in front.

But I love the way he studies the game from the side, the players know that they are getting a video appraisal of their performance each week. He looks to improve the team individually, tactically and motivationally every single week.


SussexTractor added 09:06 - Jan 28
John McGreal deserves a lot of credit in preparing the defence and the back three formation. Why Paul Cook never tried it, is a mystery.

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