July 18, 2024

Ipswich Town fans in the stand

“Clubs like Ipswich don’t belong in League One and their supporters let you know that,” he said.

Manager of Northern Ireland Michael O’Neill thinks Kieran McKenna has brought a genuine cohesion to Ipswich Town and that it’s hard to set a ceiling on where he can go in the game.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill admits he has been impressed with the work carried out by his fellow Ulster native Kieran McKenna at Ipswich Town.

Fermanagh man McKenna has led the Tractor Boys from League One into the Championship, where they currently sit 2nd in the table and on the cusp of the bright lights of the Premier League.

McKenna was recognised at the English Football League awards as he was named as the Championship Manager of the Year and O’Neill believes the 37-year-old is destined to reach the top of the game.

“Clubs like Ipswich don’t belong in League One and their supporters let you know that,” he said.

He led them out of League One the previous season, and I believe he has improved many players, which is a mark of a successful coach.

They have made the journey from League One to the Championship, and I believe they have accomplished more than they had anticipated.
“They experienced a brief setback, but they bounced back and created a fantastic opportunity for themselves.

“It’s a magnificent job he’s doing, his team are well-organised and they play a good style of football which I know Kieran is keen to play.

“He’s been shrewd in the transfer market as well – which he’s had to be – it’s difficult to put a ceiling on where Kieran can go to be honest.”

O’Neill went on to say that McKenna should be commended for his ability to wait for the perfect chance and for bringing about a sense of “real togetherness” at Portman Road.

“I think the move to Ipswich was a good career move,” he continued. “As a young coach, it can be very difficult to know whatis the right job to take.”

“There are a lot of coaches who just jump in but whilst he took on a big club, it was a big club in League One.

“He had a difficult enough period during his first year at times but he got through that and then the team has flown since.

“I think what Kieran has done best is that he’s built a real togetherness.”


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