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Jackson: I've Loved Every Day Under the Boss
Tuesday, 17th May 2022 16:41

Kayden Jackson says he’s loved every day under manager Kieran McKenna having looked on his way out of Portman Road before the Northern Irishman took over in mid-December.

Town confirmed that the 28-year-old had signed a new two-year deal earlier today with his previous terms up at the end of June.

Jackson admitted in February that he might have moved on in any of the previous three transfer windows having been training with the U23s during Paul Lambert’s time as boss and only fleetingly involved under Paul Cook at the start of this season.

McKenna brought him back into the fold for his second game, the 4-0 win at Gillingham, and the frontman was in and around the side thereafter until suffering a season-ending hamstring injury in March having netted three times under the new boss.

“Unfortunately, opportunities didn’t come as often as I would have liked at the beginning of the season,” the £1.6 million 2018 signing from Accrington Stanley told iFollow Ipswich.

“I bided my time, worked hard and thankfully got my chance. I suppose that’s why I’ve been able to sign a new contract; because when I got my chance I took it.

“I have loved every day of it under the boss. I can remember having a conversation with him on the very first day he was at the training ground.

“He was so positive and I was looking forward to getting on the grass straightaway. I just wanted to show him what I could do.

“It’s been a good time for me under him. All I want is to be out there helping the lads and I thought I could add something to the team.

“Next year I want to be successful, happy and enjoying my football. I want to get the fans cheering and smiling, and put on a good show for everyone.”

Speaking about Jackson in March after the striker suffered his injury, manager McKenna said: “The main thing is that he’s a really strong character, he’s been through some significant ups and downs already in his career and in his time here.

“I’ve had some conversations with him and knowing the type of personality he is he’ll look to come back stronger, he’ll look to work on things off the pitch and especially in the gym when he’s not able to play and train with the group.

“He’ll look to get himself back in really good condition. He’s a boy who looks after himself really, really well anyway from a physical point of view, but there are always things that you can do in this sort of time period that can develop other areas whenever you’re injured and I know he’s going to look to do that.

“He’s certainly been relatively positive during the week and is looking forward to the future.”

He added: “From quite early on from seeing how well he trained and how he went about his business, I’ve had private conversations with him where I’ve expressed that I can see him being part of the future here and part of the type of squad and type of team that we’re trying to build.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Suffolkboy added 17:05 - May 17
Exactly ,Mr McKenna ,you’ve nailed the secret of getting the best out of individuals ,and making them feel confident and needed works wonders . It’s very very pleasing to think KJ will be fit and fighting for a regular place on the pitch !

LegendofthePhoenix added 17:09 - May 17
Great credit to both KD for all his hard work and to KMcK for spotting his amazing athletic abilities and seeing how he could use that in our team. A really positive story. Uppa Towen.

LegendofthePhoenix added 17:09 - May 17
I meant KJ!

therein61 added 17:38 - May 17
Credit to the boy for knuckling down when not getting game time under previous managers he has been rewarded by a proper manager who could see and has done what was needed to bring him in from the cold, his new contract is well deserved.

TimmyH added 17:55 - May 17
Let's not go too far over the top with this...his 'better' spell before he got injured consisted of 3 goals in 7 games and an air for caution optimism for next season but that's about it. Personally need a more prolific striker than Kayden if we're to get out of this league.

TimmyH added 17:55 - May 17
'Cautious optimism'

Murphys_Law added 19:52 - May 17
I think this is excellent. KJ is the catalyst that stops teams stepping up. His pace scares them and they are nowhere near as adventurous and dare not leave the space in behind for him to exploit. His energy and pace means he’s closing down defenders continuously and they hate it. He might not always deliver the final ball or be an amazing finisher but he brings so much more to the team. Pace, pace pace! I hope he tears it up.

Bluesince92 added 23:10 - May 17
Don't really see him as prolific but his energy, pace and work rate is unquestionable.....I think with the right partner his effort in every game and link up play will be a crucial and dangerous asset to have next season. And who knows maybe he will improve and get some consistency with goals too.

Unhinged_dynamo added 08:07 - May 18
He might not be naturally prolific but if he plays a full season like he did in his improved spell where he got 3 in 7 over a full season he’d have 19 goals. Ok he won’t play every game through injury or selection but could easily chip in with 10/12 goals and a few assists, not to be sniffed at

naa added 09:21 - May 18
TimmyH: assuming those stats were carried through the entire season that would be 20 goals and 7 assists. Sounds pretty decent to me!

Razor added 10:00 - May 18
He did not go away and sulk and got duly rewarded-----good news all rpund.

TimmyH added 10:32 - May 18
naa - nobody of the regular starters last season was that consistent maybe other than Burns.

naa added 12:45 - May 18
TimmyH: true, but who's to say that that was Jackson's best period? He didn't get much chance to show before his injury and hadn't played much football in months previously so presumably wasn't at his best.

Anyway, I agree that we need more up front, though finding a ready made 20-goal striker in league 1 is going to be almost impossible. Most with proven records would be going up to the Championship.

Jonaldo added 09:27 - May 19
Hoping Simpson reads this and is prepared to fight for his chance like Jackson has

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