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McKenna: After the Seasons We've Had There Was Always Going to Be Speculation
Wednesday, 22nd May 2024 08:59

Town boss Kieran McKenna says speculation regarding his future was always going to come following the success of the last two seasons.

McKenna, speaking having been named the LMA’s Manager of the Year and Championship Manager of the Year, was quizzed on the interest from Brighton & Hove Albion as well as links with Chelsea and Manchester United.

“Look, the club has had such a positive season and has such a bright future ahead,” he told Sky Sports. “We’ve achieved so much, it’s been an incredible two years.

“And when you have those two years there always comes speculation and things like that, there’s been that every summer.

“I know how much everyone is looking forward to the season, the club is in a fantastic path and everyone is just really looking forward to the season ahead.”

Asked whether it would be difficult to turn down offers from those clubs should they come, McKenna responded: “Again, when you do well as a manager, or as a player, there’s always going to be speculation.

“I know what we have achieved is not an ordinary thing, so there’s always going to be speculation.

“But that’s not where my focus is tonight, it’s about what we’ve achieved last season, what we’ve achieved over the last couple of seasons, not just myself but everyone at the football club.

“It’s been a wonderful couple of years and tonight’s about celebrating that. I know everyone’s looking forward to next season and I know the club’s going to be in a really, really good place going into that season.”

Earlier, accepting the evening’s main honour, the Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy, from the legendary former Manchester United boss, McKenna said: “It's incredible. Sir Alex Ferguson has been such a great part of my childhood growing up and my love for football, and for the game, has involved him - he's an inspiration.

“It's been a great journey. I'm two and a half years into a management career, but it's been 16 years of working incredibly hard every day pretty much to be the best coach I can be.

“It's the best thing in the world and I've had good experience as a first-team coach, but to be a manager in the Premier League and go up against great managers is going to be a great challenge and something I can't wait for. This award is one of the most humbling and proudest moments of my life.”

Ferguson, an ‍LMA executive committee member, added: “I extend my congratulations to Kieran McKenna on winning the LMA Manager of the Year award after a memorable season with Ipswich Town.

“He is an incredible young talent who had a great reputation when he was on the coaching staff at Manchester United.

“Kieran is humble and carries tremendous composure, as well as great technical and tactical insight and awareness – all the hallmarks to become a top manager at the very highest level.”

Outgoing LMA chair Howard Wilkinson said: “A huge well done to Kieran McKenna for becoming the winner of the LMA Manager of the Year for the first time.

“To be promoted once at any level is commendable, but to achieve the feat back-to-back is an incredible achievement and demonstrates his undoubted ability as one of the youngest and most exciting managers in the domestic game.

“Kieran has been recognised by his peers for leading Ipswich to the highest level of English football for the first time in over 20-years and is hugely deserving of this honour.”

A Town boss has won Manager of the Year once before, George Burley in the summer of 2001 after the Blues finished fifth in the Premier League in their first season following promotion.

Photo: LMA

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brazilblue added 09:02 - May 22
Sounds increasingly like he’s off. And can’t begrudge him that chance. What a manager and what an awesome 2 and a bit years he gave us

Tommyc added 09:10 - May 22
Think Chelsea acted yesterday because they were concerned about losing McKenna to Brighton. That would have been a slight upward step, but in truth Brighton as a mid-table prem side have gone as far as they can. Chelsea would be a huge step up, albeit with a reputation for getting rid of managers. No doubt they have been tapping into Hutchinson on what he is like and training etc. Hoped Liam Rosenior would come to the club as part of McKenna team as an impressive fella and an immediate decent option, but lets hope it does not come to that?

E_I_E_I_E_I_O added 09:11 - May 22
No doubt people will read too much into this. But the least he will do is listen to what other clubs say if they want to speak to him. So he was never going to say he's off or he's staying and therefore this changes nothing. No doubt people will read far too much into this and construe words whichever way they see fit.

bluearmy78 added 09:12 - May 22
@brazilblue what makes you think he’s off, he’s already said that when you’re doing well you’re going to attract attention. For me he’s got unfinished business, 2 back to back promotions now I think he’ll take us forward in the Premiership, he won’t be in a rush to leave us, hopefully Ashton is working his magic to keep him at the club!

BobbyBell added 09:13 - May 22
Like anyone he wants to know who is interested in him and what they have to offer. It doesn't mean that he will go but if he puts it on record that he's staying then he will no longer get offers. It's just common sense to keep himself open to offers but I believe that he is happy here and will stay a while longer. What better place to prove himself in the top flight?

muccletonjoe added 09:14 - May 22
If you want to think he is off to some other club, whoever it may be , no one can stop you. But my opinion is he will be here come the start of the season and beyond.

dirtydingusmagee added 09:16 - May 22
nothing there to kill off talks of leaving, Im bracing myself for a huge disappointment , really hope he will take on the challenge of Prem with us but not optimistic . It will be a massive blow if we lose him ,and a real deflater after being on a high .

brazilblue added 09:19 - May 22
@bluearmy78 - he’s talking about us in third person and does nothing to dispel the speculation whatsoever. Actively avoids answering.

martin587 added 09:19 - May 22
Obviously with a top class manager like K Mc and winning prestigious awards there will be speculation flying around and top clubs trying to sign him.What he has achieved at Ipswich in such a short space of time is a miracle and we hope he will not have his head turned for at least another twelve months.Eventually I’m sure he will move to pastures new but until then he needs to stay here and show his excellent management skills in the best league in the world.For this reason I feel confident he will stay.

Jugsy added 09:25 - May 22
McKenna is a man of his word - he refers to it as 'speculation', which I suggest means no conversations as yet. I think he would be foolish to come out and say 'i'm not leaving', often its good to entertain the conversation to realise that you're happy with what you have. I believe the club operate like that and in full transparency of one and other. That harbours a healthy, working relationship.

bluearmy78 added 09:26 - May 22
@brazilblue he’s not going to going to answer that question either way, the man is Professional

FabianMalyon added 09:33 - May 22
He's going nowhere for now. Let's get cracking with PL Season 24/25 and see where we all are come May next year.

bringmeaKuqi added 09:33 - May 22
I fear Chelsea moved yesterday not because they are afraid of Brighton but because the United job is very likely to come up after this weekend. United, although still a basket case, are at least less of a basket case than Chelsea and would give KMK more than one season - so it's a bigger pull.

You have to imagine that after last night KMKs aims must be higher than Brighton. I guess his decision will come down to - is now the right time to go to united or will he be better off in one year...

delias_cheesy_flaps added 09:34 - May 22
I'd be very surprised if KM would entertain Chelsea, with that first class muppet Todd Boehly running the show.

Portman51 added 09:37 - May 22
Plenty of warm words about the club and its future, but not one suggesting he is going to be part of it, or wants to be. Disappointing, but experience suggests Ashton will already be working on plan B, albeit likely that would be at the expense of other club. No sentiment in football any more, if there ever was.

Marshalls_Mullet added 09:38 - May 22
When talking about the future he used the words 'everyone' and 'the club', rather than 'we', also dodged the question about turning down other clubs....

Ipswichbusiness added 09:51 - May 22
I would be surprised if he went to Chelsea because
1) their owners are a bad joke,
2) he would have virtually no influence or control over transfers,
3) they sack managers too often,
4) they tend to go for “name” managers with Prem experience.

Brighton are more worrying; I could see him going there.

Rozeeboy74 added 09:52 - May 22
No current prem club will give KM the freedom we have, certainly not Chelsea.

cressi added 09:54 - May 22
Hopefully he will stay. But what will be will be. Not like a fan who loves the club for life. The good thing manager wise we will be a market where we have a good choice.
In Ashton I trust.

naa added 09:58 - May 22
I appreciate he was being cagey and isn't going to answer a question like that at an awards ceremony but his wording did make me worry. The fact he's talking about how well the club is set up for the future implies that it'll be fine without him.

We knew he wouldn't stay for long, but I hoped he'd at least give us a season in the Prem - hopefully he still will. There's no reason we can't compete with the likes of Brighton in a year or two if we can stay up, and our best chance of that is with him in charge.

I'd lose a lot of respect for him if he went to Chelsea to be honest. They're a mess, and he's likely to get sacked within a year just because of their idiot owner.

And I'd have thought he wouldn't want to rush into the Man Utd job.

wokingblue added 10:04 - May 22
Pretty sure he's going nowhere ...... next season at least. Why go to Brighton who are similar sized club but its not his team and with an owner who has a reputation for wanting to be involved in player recruitment. Chelsea would be a nonstarter because of their reputation for sacking managers. Look at what they did to Potter. Manchester United is a distinct possibility but not yet. I think Kieran needs to prove his worth with a couple of positive seasons in the Prem. Then there'll be no holding on to him,

Europablue added 10:07 - May 22
Mark Ashton looks really happy in that photo, he doesn't look like a man who is panicking!

HopefulBlue69 added 10:09 - May 22
If he goes, and that's a BIG IF, I can't believe that any true fan would wish to reverse the amazing last 2 season and the joy that has brought us.
He seems a very smart man and as such will no doubt have smart advisors as well. People who really understand football will surely advise that Burnley going down has not significantly damaged their manager. Not getting immediate results at a big club would have all the pundits telling the world it was a step to soon to give him a big club and he wasn't ready. An early exit would really damage his career as per Potter..
I think he'll stay but we may well go down anyway. Whatever happens it will have been a crazy ride and I for one am glad I brought a ticket...

itfckenty added 10:12 - May 22
he would be incredibly stupid to shut down all approaches before any conversations have been had, like any job out there - If I was contacted by a company I thought would be a good stepping stone, but felt I had a good thing going, I would entertain the approach but eventually explain I wasn't quite ready for that move - keeping that door slightly a jar for future possibilities.. it's pure common sense to do that, than shut it down and they then never give you an opportunity again if something came up. I truly believe he will be here for next season.

PackwoodBlue added 10:16 - May 22
Sounds like he's keeping his options open and to be fair, who wouldn't. I initially read his comment; "but to be a manager in the Premier League and go up against great managers is going to be a great challenge and something I can't wait for", that he's looking forward to doing this with his current group and the club, but I guess, it can be read either way, as he'll be a Premier League Manager next season no matter what.

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