Town players give their views on McKenna

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hallamblue
Posts: 31578
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: Ipswich Town F.C.

Town players give their views on McKenna

Post by hallamblue » Sun Jun 02, 2024 8:27 am

Interesting re the qualities that the various players see in Kieran McKenna. There’s a definite pattern to KM’s approach and the effects of his persona.

McKenna definitely IS experienced, and thankfully the “ big” clubs have closed minds to that fact. Which is our gain for now!


MCKENNA SIGNS
Ipswich Town: What players have said about Kieran McKenna

IPSWICH TOWN FC

By Mark Heath
mark__heath
Head of Football




Clockwise from top left: Luke Woolfenden, Conor Chaplin, Harry Clarke and Sam Morsy have all praised boss Kieran McKenna, centre <i>(Image: Newsquest/ITFC)</i>
Clockwise from top left: Luke Woolfenden, Conor Chaplin, Harry Clarke and Sam Morsy have all praised boss Kieran McKenna, centre (Image: Newsquest/ITFC)
Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has pledged his future to the club after weeks of speculation.

The remarkable team he's created at Town is one based around stability, consistency and camaraderie - a band of brothers with McKenna as their leader.

READ MORE: Stuart Watson's verdict on McKenna soap opera

Retaining his services is a major boost for the Blues going into a huge summer.

As they prepare for the Premier League for the first time in 22 years, let's take a look at what his players have said about McKenna as a boss, motivator and leader....

East Anglian Daily Times: Sam Morsy celebrates promotion
Sam Morsy celebrates promotion (Image: Steve Waller)

Sam Morsy

Speaking in March 2022

“He’s been brilliant from day one. His meetings, his level of detail, the structure... it’s been really eye-opening for me and the players.

“People may say he’s an inexperienced manager, but he’s been preparing for this role for the last 10 to 13 years, or whatever it is, since he started coaching.

“He’s definitely not inexperienced. You can see he’s learnt from the best.

“He’s got everyone firing. Everyone’s really enjoying it. Everyone knows their roles. Everyone is improving.

“For me personally, he’s been great. It’s the same for a lot of the lads.

“When you get older it’s a common theme that players become more closed off, but everyone has been really open and taken on the ideas that have been presented really well. He’s definitely opened my eyes to certain things. I definitely see things differently now. He’s taught me a lot that I didn’t know before. There’s been lots of learning days.

“I think I can speak for a lot of the lads when I say they have found it the same."

Speaking after promotion to the Premier League

“The manager has transformed the culture, transformed everything.

“I’m sure he’s going to get it, but he deserves a lot of credit. Without him, we wouldn’t have done this today.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Wes Burns with his Championship medal after promotion
Wes Burns with his Championship medal after promotion (Image: Steve Waller)

Wes Burns

Speaking to Sky Sports in January 2024

“The boss always says as long as we give 100 per cent, stick to our principles and execute the game plan that he gives us, then he's more than happy with that.

“He's such a brilliant coach that we have 100 per cent trust in everything he says. That trust has been taken onto the pitch and we're executing it brilliantly for him. I think that's why we are where we are.

"From the first day he came in, there's been so much information to take on board.

"But you can see from the outside the improvements that we've made as a squad and as individuals. He's taken us all to the next level, which is a sign of an incredible coach.

"For me personally, he's just simplified my game right down, and for so many players just doing that can get so much more out of them.

"I have key things that I bring to the team that he wants from me every single week. Set roles within the system, and as long as I execute them on a match day, it's effective."

"I went to Fleetwood (in 2015) as a No 9, and I'm definitely not a No 9. So finding my position has definitely helped me progress.

"And then obviously coming here and the boss coming in, he's tweaked my position again ever so slightly. And that's really where I'm starting to reap the best rewards from it."

Speaking after promotion to the Premier League

“We’ve got the best manager that we could possibly have, he’s the best I’ve ever worked with and the best group of lads – literally the ceiling is not high enough, it’s a glass ceiling, not a concrete ceiling.

“This group can achieve anything.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Kayden Jackson said McKenna is an 'unbelievable man'
Kayden Jackson said McKenna is an 'unbelievable man' (Image: Stephen Waller)

Kayden Jackson

Speaking after promotion to the Premier League

"He brings an unbelievable work ethic, which is only matched by the players who play for him.

“What an unbelievable man, what an unbelievable person, what an unbelievable manager. He truly has it all.

“Unfortunately it’s a rarity in football, but he’s incredible - and he’s been incredible for me from day one.

“I always say that every day I work with him I’ll never take for granted because of how special he is as a manager and as a person.

“He’s been incredible for me.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Jack Taylor says McKenna always stays calm
Jack Taylor says McKenna always stays calm (Image: Ross Halls)

Jack Taylor

Speaking in April 2024

“He’s really calm, he doesn’t ever seem to be stressed – and he’s been consistent with it the whole season.

“He stays level, sticks to what he does and stays as calm as he wants.

“(Ranting and raving) works for some people, but we have the squad and the personalities in the team to bounce off what he’s saying – he gets us going when he needs to.

“Especially before games, we’re so prepared tactically and mentally, ready for every game.

“He’s a winner, deep down. He wants to win every game.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Conor Chaplin says McKenna has 'helped me no end'
Conor Chaplin says McKenna has 'helped me no end' (Image: Stephen Waller)

Conor Chaplin

Speaking in December 2023

“He’s helped me no end. Understanding the game in general he’s helped me massively with, just speaking football with him.

“His attention to detail and his ability to read how a game is going to happen – certain things that come up in a game he’ll prep for and let us know so it’s not a surprise when it happens, he’s usually bang on with that.

“And I think just how level-headed he is, I don’t think there’s any emotional reaction to a lot of things.

"It’s thought about, it’s methodical, it’s in-depth analysis before reacting and acting on certain things.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Luke Woolfenden says McKenna is 'very good at reading the room after games'
Luke Woolfenden says McKenna is 'very good at reading the room after games' (Image: Pagepix Ltd)

Luke Woolfenden

Speaking in February 2024

“I think he knows he can trust me with things he wants delivering, whether that be defending on the halfway line, building from the back or dealing with big spaces in one-v-one situations.

“He knows nine times out of 10 what he’s going to get from me. He sees that, Perty (assistant boss Martyn Pert) sees that.

“Being the player who has started the most games under him does speak massively of that trust and I’m really thankful for that because I never really had it in my career before.

“Even when you come out the team he’ll sit you down and by the time you come out the meeting you’re almost happy that you’ve been dropped, in a way, because he’s so good at explaining his reasons!

“I’ve fallen on me feet with him as a manager, but, to be fair, I think I've earnt it after the last three!

Woolfenden added: “He’s very good at reading the room after games. Sometimes we’ll all be up when we’ve won, but not played well, and he’ll say ‘let’s not kid ourselves’.

“Then there’ll be other times where we’ve maybe drawn, not been far off winning, are all beating ourselves up a bit and he comes in and says ‘actually, there was a lot of good things in that’.

“He’s very good in that sense.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Leif Davis has been sensational under McKenna's management
Leif Davis has been sensational under McKenna's management (Image: Steve Waller)

Leif Davis

Speaking to Sky Sports in November 2023

“From day one when I walked in the door he told me he'd help me to improve my game, and he has done massively, going forward and defensively.

"I didn't think I had that quality in the final third, it definitely wasn't my strongest point, but now I'd say it is.

“The way he has worked with me in training to be more comfortable with the ball at my feet in the final third, and to find passes instead of just getting it into the box and hoping for the best.

“The way I play in the team is more advanced to a normal left-back. I don't really have anyone in front of me, and I've got to do a lot on that side myself.

"But that's my job. It's why I was brought in and he trusts me to play that role - at least I hope he does!

East Anglian Daily Times: Massimo Luongo says there's a high level of detail provided by McKenna
Massimo Luongo says there's a high level of detail provided by McKenna (Image: Stephen Waller)

Massimo Luongo

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in August 2023

“What is striking for me is his detail in how he wants to play. On the pitch, the detail is at a really, really high level, like the information we receive and the feedback we receive from the coaches.

“And the way he conducts himself. He is in early, watches every second of training and loves football, I feel like he watches every single game because he pulls out games like that.

“His knowledge of modern football is really good and he is obsessed with football to be honest. That bleeds into the team and we can all see it.

“You can tell he loves football, is obsessed with it and wants to improve as a coach and manager so you can imagine what he wants for us and demands from us. I enjoy coming in every day, for sure. The coaching staff and him have definitely created an atmosphere where we are firstly humble.

“We don’t leave any stone unturned, it doesn’t matter who we play against. Then when we win, stay humble and when we lose, don’t get too low.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Omari Hutchinson had a spectacular loan spell under McKenna
Omari Hutchinson had a spectacular loan spell under McKenna (Image: PA)

Omari Hutchinson

Speaking to Sky Sports in March 2024

“I spoke to the manager and got a real good connection with him from seeing him for the first time.

“And I thought, you know, this could be the best place for me.

"He's been in the academy, he knows how the young boys are. So I thought he made it a no-brainer to come here.

“Sometimes when you come into the team as a sub the manager tells you we need a different dynamic. A skilful player that's going to get at your man and who can go both ways.

"For me personally I enjoy that. I like to entertain the crowd, and the manager gives you that freedom."

East Anglian Daily Times: Vaclav Hladky says everyone in the squad has improved under McKenna and his coaches
Vaclav Hladky says everyone in the squad has improved under McKenna and his coaches (Image: PA Sport)

Vaclav Hlady

Speaking in January 2024

“If you look at every lad in the squad over the past 18 months, you can 100% say that everyone has improved and I’m included.

“Obviously we’re working with Rene (Gilmartin, goalkeeping coach) as well on a daily basis with loads of detail and analysis, and we try to push the level on as best we can.

“I’m feeling really well at the moment and, listen, it’s not the best level I can hit I don’t think – there’s a lot more ahead of us and we just don’t want to stop at the moment.”

He added: “We just come in every day and talk about how we can improve every single detail.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Harry Clarke has described his boss as 'an absolute genuis'
Harry Clarke has described his boss as 'an absolute genuis' (Image: Steve Waller)

Harry Clarke

Speaking after promotion to the Premier League

“He's an absolute genius, honestly.

"I'll be the first one to design his statue outside the stadium! He's absolutely incredible. He's the main reason I came back. Working under him has been a pleasure.

"He's destined for great things, whether that be here or another big club. Hopefully he stays, I'm sure he will. With him the sky's the limit

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Bluemike
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Re: Town players give their views on McKenna

Post by Bluemike » Sun Jun 02, 2024 9:24 am

And this is exactly what I was alluding to when i said without him here players may not be quite so keen to sign on or even stay, I think that's obvious, people want to play for him.

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Mauswara
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Re: Town players give their views on McKenna

Post by Mauswara » Sun Jun 02, 2024 11:14 am

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