McKenna: We Learned Lessons That Will Hold Us in Good Stead
Friday, 29th Jul 2022 15:56
Town boss Kieran McKenna says he learnt a lot about League One last season having taken over at Portman Road midway through December.
The Blues manager, the first-team coach with Manchester United prior to joining the Blues having been in the academies at Old Trafford and Tottenham before that, says there were differences between League One and where he’d previously been working.
“A good amount,” he reflected. “There are things that are similar to the level that I was working at before but there are some things that are definitely different.
“I’ve learnt more about the different teams, I’ve learnt more about the refereeing, I’ve learnt more about the flow of the games. I’ve learned more about the level in general.
“I think I’m definitely more knowledgeable about what we’re going into than I was before, but obviously we got off to a really good start when I first arrived, so having knowledge of the league doesn’t make you automatically successful in it.
“But I think there are certain lessons that not just myself, but as a football club last year and under new ownership, everyone involved in that, have learned over the last 12 months, and the last six months for me, that will hold us in good stead over the course of the season if we can take something from them.
“I think it’s definitely a learning curve but I think we’re in a better position, and one of our key principles is to keep learning and I’m sure I’ll know more again in six months’ time than I do now. A key ethos is to keep learning and we’ll look to keep learning and look to keep improving.”
Was the division stronger than he anticipated? “Not stronger because I knew it was a good level, I’d seen plenty of League One games before for different reasons.
“I understood the level. I guess coming in in winter there’s a difference to the pitches than you’re used to and, as I’ve said before, the physical conditions play a big, big part in some of the games, especially through that winter programme, so that’s very different.
“And then there are subtle differences. Tactically it’s different, there are certain things that you can get away with that I don’t think you can get away with in the Premier League from a tactical point of view.
“There’s differences in the refereeing, there’s differences on a lot of things that influence the stuff on the pitch.
“Nothing surprised me, I knew the level was good, obviously it’s a league, it’s well publicised now, with a lot of big clubs, who have been in the Premier League, clubs like us who have won major trophies and European trophies, who have found themselves in this league for one reason or another.
“History and time have proven that it’s not easy to get out of and it’s a very competitive division and having that big history and big tradition is no guarantee of getting out of it, so I think we have a good idea now and a better idea of what it’s going to take and that’s certainly the aim this season.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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