Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Blackburn Rovers 0 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 29th March 2024 Kick-off 17:30
McKenna: Sometimes You Have to Show Your Other Side
Friday, 29th Mar 2024 21:06

Blues boss Kieran McKenna said Town had to show the other side of their game to see out their 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers which took them to the top of the Championship table for the first time since December.

Having been on top in a first half in which Conor Chaplin gave his team a ninth-minute lead, the Blues had to battle hard to maintain their clean sheet in the second half and secure their eighth win in nine matches, a victory which took them back to the top of the table.

“A fantastic result,” McKenna said. “You have to enjoy every win you get in the Championship, especially every win away from home, and a clean sheet away from home and a really good goal scored.

“A really good result, but the performance was mixed throughout the game. I thought in the first half, we started ever so well, a big credit to the way we came out, especially after international duty.

“Imposed ourselves really well in the game, were really slick on the ball, gave the opposition problems and I thought we controlled most of the first half.

“Blackburn have a counter-threat and they set up to give us problems through the middle of the pitch and we didn’t have it all our way, but I thought we had a really good first half.

“I thought we came out at the start of the second half and did well as well, to be honest. Probably one thing we can improve from today is not just how the game finished but just going and getting that second goal.

“I thought if we were a little bit more clinical and executed a little bit better, we had great chances to go and get a second goal at the start of that second half.

“As the second half went on, it became tough. We knew there would be tiredness in the group today. We knew we’d lose Kieffer [Moore] early in the game as well.

“And it became a really challenging last 30 minutes. We would have liked to have shown more composure and more control in terms of trying to keep the ball and try and play in their half.

“We didn’t manage to do that. Not through any lack of intent. We have to remember where the boys have come from, how much this means to them.

“Also, the front three for the last 30 minutes, Omari [Hutchinson], Ali [Al-Hamadi] and Jeremy [Sarmiento], it’s their first season in men’s football. Those boys are doing fantastically.

“We worked really hard, we defended our box really well. We blocked crosses, we defended our set plays well, we blocked shots, we didn’t control the game as we would have liked but sometimes you have to show that other side and I thought we did that really well and got a deserved clean sheet.”

McKenna was in no doubt that his side should have been awarded a spot-kick early on when Nathan Broadhead was pulled over in the box by Callum Brittain.

“I thought it should have been a penalty, yes,” he said. “I’ve not seen it back, but it looked blatant from where I was. Looked like a penalty.”

Regarding Chaplin’s goal, he added: “I thought it was in keeping with the start of the game really. I thought we moved the ball really well, really slick and incisive, the movement off the ball was good.

“Leif [Davis] picked out Conor really well and managed to wriggle it underneath the goalkeeper, but a well-worked.”

Blackburn complained bitterly that Joe Rankin-Costello’s first-half goal, disallowed by Premier League referee Stuart Attwell as Sammie Szmodics was standing in an offside position in front of Blues keeper Vaclav Hladky, and one from Andrew Moran in the second, ruled out for a foul on the Czech by Andrew Wharton, should have stood.

“I thought the one that was given for offside looked clear offside from where I was,” McKenna said.

“You could see it clearly from where I was, the striker looked like he was a yard in front of Vaz [Hladky] and jumping in front of Vaz or out of the way of Vaz as the ball was struck, so it looked like a clear offside.

“The one in the second half was a clear offside. The referee blew early, so although I know the ball went in the net, everyone heard the whistle before the ball went in.

“No dramas there. I thought the referee reffed it well, it wasn’t easy, it was a competitive game. Of course, the crowd get up a little bit as home crowds do and they’re not getting the decisions or the things that they want, but I thought he did it well and I thought the decisions, apart from probably Nathan’s penalty were by my eye, pretty good.”

As well as the likes of Moore, who had played 120 minutes of international football in midweek, McKenna revealed that a number of his squad had been ill this week.

“You don’t like to make a fuss out of these things,” he said. “Of course, if you don’t win the game, it’s easy to come out and complain about that, but we’ve had quite a few boys with the flu, really.

“Leif was one of them, it was really touch and go whether he could play the game and he found it really, really difficult to breathe throughout the game. He did well today to play the 70 minutes or whatever he had.

“Harry Clarke, who came on for him was one of the other ones and there were quite a few other ones who were ill as well.

“But these things happen, it’s going round the country at the moment. I think that and the effort for Kieffer to go out there and play 60 minutes today represents the fantastic commitment that we’re seeing from these boys every week.”

It’s not the first time Town have had to grind a victory in the second half, the display at Swansea in February having been very similar, while not typical of the Blues’ usual approach to the game.

“You have to win all different ways in the Championship, and especially for us,” McKenna said.

“We’re a newly-promoted side, we’re not going to dominate every game, every minute of that game.

“I think we’ve shown in enough games, in plenty of games what our identity is, how we like to play the game. I think we showed that today in chunks of the game in the first half, how brave we were, how we imposed ourselves on the ball.

“Where we are as a team, the challenge of the league, every game’s not going to be like Sheffield Wednesday when you win 6-0 and everything goes your way and you control 90 minutes of the game.

“The boys are at full stretch, you have to show different qualities to win different games and we’ve managed to do that plenty of times and that’s why we’ve got such a strong points total and why we’ve managed this season to show so many different attributes.

“I think we built our identity in League One. Of course, we’ve worked really hard to maintain that this season.

“I think we’ve shown that in plenty of games, but we’re having to show other sides of ourselves this season and show what we can do in a really difficult league where we’re one of the teams just coming into it.

“And I think for me as a manager, that’s almost more pleasing and something to be even more proud of than maybe last season where we dominated so many games so thoroughly and even from this season, games like the last game against Sheffield Wednesday where we dominated the game from start to finish.

“Sometimes the different qualities that your group show, and we’ve needed to show them this season, that’s something to be just as proud of.”

McKenna was aware that Leicester had lost 1-0 at Bristol City earlier in the afternoon and that Monday’s opponents Southampton drew 1-1 at home to Middlesbrough.

“Yes, there’s not much to do in the hotel, to be honest!” he smiled. “So, once we had our prep done this morning, managed to watch a bit of the game, the lunchtime fixture, as we would any other week.

“I don’t think, I know, it had no bearing whatsoever on our preparation, our mindset for this game.”

Asked whether he’d watch the Leeds-Watford game later in the evening, which ended 2-2, on the coach on the way home, he said: “Probably not, to be honest. I think I’ll spend my time between watching a bit of this game back and probably Netflix!”

Photo: TWTD

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 21:18 - Mar 29
What a dude.

johnwarksshorts added 21:19 - Mar 29
Great summary as usual.

bobble added 21:38 - Mar 29
4 home games and 3 away games and we are champions...

gosblue added 22:07 - Mar 29
Very poor 2nd half performance but top of the league so I don’t care. A lack of a reserve left back was evident, Davis was obviously unwell. Al-Hamadi is the new Ladapo ie: doesn’t press.

Suffolkboy added 22:15 - Mar 29
Just as level headed as ever , as honest as the day and willing ,after the event, to reveal whatever sickness/ illness had affected individuals — but never presenting any form of excuse !
If he’s proud of the ITFC squad ,then we should be just as proud of him ( and them ) !
Let’s see what two/ three days recovery does for the chaps and hope they can reproduce great form on Monday !
So well done !

tetchris added 22:16 - Mar 29
Don’t like the fact we play it back to the goalie and he isnt very good with ball at his feet and his distribution is poor. Just wish we would hoof it long sometimes, and stop fannying about at the back playing triangular passes or playing it across our own box. It’s so nerve wracking to watch. If we do get promoted we need a decent goalie and two centre halves

scooby added 00:10 - Mar 30
One area we need to improve massively is stopping si many crosses coming into our box

chrismadrid added 00:35 - Mar 30
Playing really well at the moment...need to keep it going... doing so well since missing decent players and yet grinding out results.Defence getting better each month,solid overall

bobble added 04:35 - Mar 30
us and leeds have the easier run in (if there is such a thing) on paper...pity we play on grass.....but still,,, leicester and saints have got some tough games coming against many of the top teams...leicester seem to be losing form big time, whereas us and leeds are forming away to our hearts content..

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 06:23 - Mar 30
My random thoughts: Fantastic away support. That little Ipswich can take 4000+ away on a Good Friday is amazing. Even Leeds, which is probably ten times bigger than Ipswich, don't manage much more than that. We rode our luck a bit in the match, but I don't get all the whining from the Blackburn camp. I think the decisions against them were fair. Hdlaky was distracted by the offside player in front of him, and as many have said - what about our penalty? Moaning won't change the result anyway. I'm a bit worried about the illness in the camp. That may well explain the off-key performance in the second half. Hope two days will be enough to re-charge the batteries. COY super B!

aljames added 08:28 - Mar 30
Rode our luck a bit! Gritty performance to hold onto our lead. No easy games in the Championship but top of the table is based on the seasons performances.

Kickingblock added 08:51 - Mar 30
The reason that the team is doing so well is because they play the way they do. It's what they are coached. Sometimes, they get caught out and I agree that it can be frustrating, when it looks like a long ball upfield and out of trouble is what's needed. Playing your way throughout would see a downturn in results.
Everyone must trust the process, fingers crossed.

carlisleaway added 09:10 - Mar 30
Tetchris, we are top of the table………..get behind the team
For a team promoted from the 1st Division we have not done to bad

Nomore4 added 10:33 - Mar 30
Tetchris. We’ve already paid potential £3m for a top draw keeper……you think we need another?

Bramidan added 15:34 - Mar 30
We play out the back because that’s the way our coach (manager) wants us to play!
I think it was Wolf who said “ we set traps”.
Our keeper is good with his feet and passes the ball well.
Tetchris I really can’t understand where you are coming from, our system ( process) seems to be serving us well, remind me where we are in the table!

Bramidan added 15:37 - Mar 30
We play out the back because that’s the way our coach (manager) wants us to play!
I think it was Wolf who said “ we set traps”.
Our keeper is good with his feet and passes the ball well.
Tetchris I really can’t understand where you are coming from, our system ( process) seems to be serving us well, remind me where we are in the table!
We don’t really want a return to hoof ball do we?

Bramidan added 15:37 - Mar 30
We play out the back because that’s the way our coach (manager) wants us to play!
I think it was Wolf who said “ we set traps”.
Our keeper is good with his feet and passes the ball well.
Tetchris I really can’t understand where you are coming from, our system ( process) seems to be serving us well, remind me where we are in the table!
We don’t really want a return to hoof ball do we?

andehpandeh added 16:28 - Mar 30
It was absolutely wonderful hearing someone complain 'why are we playing out from the back?' and then us scoring 15 seconds later...and able to turn around and say THAT'S WHY!

If you're that bothered about building from the back then don't bother coming to watch, you will not be missed

You need to login in order to post your comments

Blogs 295 bloggers

Ipswich Town Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© TWTD 1995-2024