Kieran McKenna speaks out on pre-season plans at Ipswich Town | OneFootball

Kieran McKenna speaks out on pre-season plans at Ipswich Town

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Football League World

Ipswich Town showed a lot of promise under Kieran McKenna in the second half of this season in League One.

The Tractor Boys’ defence was completely impenetrable at one stage, providing a strong base for them to work from heading towards 2022/23.

The favourites may well emerge at Portman Road when the field for next season is finalised, putting some further scrutiny and pressure on the club to finally haul themselves out of League One.

McKenna gave an insight into how the club want to approach pre-season and the type of friendlies they want to play when he spoke to the club’s website.

He said: “In terms of fixtures, we want to get a range of experiences from our games.

“We want a challenge in and around our level but also some games that stretch us against the likes of Premier League and upper end Championship sides.

“We want a variety of home and away games, with some at Portman Road so the supporters can come and get a feel for the team we are building ahead of the season.

“Pre-season is a time of year that I particularly enjoy and on a personal basis I am looking forward to it.

“It’s the time of year that gives you a chance to practice things and work on new things, perhaps experiment to a degree both in attack and defence.

“It’s also an opportunity to work on the team from a physical point of view, which you might not get so much in the season.

“And it’s also a chance to work with the team from a mental point of view.

“We want to develop the spirit and mentality in the side and apply a focus so that we can be successful over what will be a long campaign.

“We’ll have six or seven weeks working together and I think everyone is looking forward to it.”

It was always going to be tough for 19 summer signings to be integrated into the first team successfully in 2021/22, and they managed to build some positive momentum in the final few months that should stand them in good stead this time around.

Quiz: Can you name which club Ipswich Town sold these 23 players to from the last decade?

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McKenna does look like an exciting young manager, and someone who will benefit from having a summer transfer window and a full pre-season to stamp their authority on the squad.

Ipswich are far too big to be in League One, the same can be said for others in the division, but having failed to achieve a top six finish from their three seasons since relegation from the Championship is very poor.

There was clearly enormous levels of buy-in from the players with McKenna’s methods in the second half of the season and that should only improve during pre-season.

Clubs like Ipswich will be glad that Sunderland are out the way now, and in the second tier, rather than having to compete with them towards the top end of League One next term.

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