Kieran McKenna hails ‘top, top performance’ as Ipswich maintain strong home form

By Sports Desk December 02, 2023

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna praised his team for a “top, top, performance” following their narrow 2-1 victory over Coventry at Portman Road.

George Hirst scored early on and Wes Burns’ cracker put the hosts further in front, before Matt Godden’s penalty cannoned off the underside of the bar.

Although the visitors did manage a breakthrough thanks to Brandon Williams’ headed own goal, it could not stop Ipswich recording a ninth win in 10 Sky Bet Championship matches.

McKenna said: “(It was) a fantastic result and a top, top performance in the first half so (I’m) really pleased, really proud of the players.

“I thought (our) first half performance was outstanding. I know how much hard work goes in to deliver a performance like that, especially a couple of days after your last game. (There’s) so much to enjoy.

“Of course (the) second half (is a) different half…we could have got through the pitch a little bit quicker.

“I think the intent on the pitch was right, to try and control the game. But we just needed to control it higher up the pitch.

“(There are) things to improve there but even having said that apart from two moments really – the penalty and then the goal at the end, which I think is a foul – they have (had) very, very few chances and we controlled a lot of the game well.

“(It was) an excellent effort from everyone. The atmosphere was great, the football was great, the goals were great, it was a super first half of football.

“We’ve executed really well the last two games and got off to great starts and backed it up with goals.”

Opposing boss Mark Robins said: “It felt like watching us last season.

“You could see that the connections have been made between the players so for instance Conor (Chaplin) and Wes Burns in those positions, they link up really well together.

“Hirst off the back and (Nathan) Broadhead comes in off that left hand side and makes good runs and they have got some pace and power within the team and they keep the ball pretty well, so they make it difficult for you.

“There’s a couple of moments we get it clearly wrong, the first was the first goal and the second was a worldly goal so I don’t think you can really put that down to anything other than a great finish.

“The second half we grew into it a little bit more but they had plenty of possession.

“The penalty came and went, it just hits the underside of the bar, it’s just one of those things, had we taken that chance that would have put them on the back foot.

“We just looked like we were a little bit timid at times. It’s one of those games that we have to learn from.”

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