Kieran McKenna has encouraged Ipswich Town captain Sam Morsy to stick to his natural game despite the looming threat of a two-match ban.

The midfielder picked up five yellow cards in the first eight league games of the season, meaning that he was suspended for the Blues' trip to Huddersfield Town. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but they clearly missed his aggression and tenacity in midfield.

He's been given three bookings since then, taking his total to eight for the campaign. If he receives two more before matchday 37 - which is set to be Ipswich's trip to Cardiff City on March 9th, 2024 - he'll be banned for two games.

Furthermore, if he reaches 15 yellow cards by the end of the season, a three-match suspension will be imposed.

It's clear that this is a natural part of his game, although he successfully navigated a nine-match spell without a single caution to reach the cut-off point in League One last season.

This challenge looks to be far tougher, and despite the risk of losing him, McKenna doesn't want him to sacrifice a key part of what makes him such an important player.

“Any time any player gets close to their limit of yellow cards, they become a little bit more aware of it," the manager explained.

“At the same time, you can’t go massively off what your normal game is. Massimo’s [Luongo] yellow card against Coventry, for example, is a tackle to be won in midfield and an important tackle for the team.

“I haven’t watched a close angle, to be fair, but at the time, it looked like he got a bit of the ball. But he can’t not go in for the tackle because he’s on four yellows, it’d let them break through out midfield.

“That shows his unselfishness in some ways because he’s showing what’s right for the team and not himself.

“It’s the same for Sam. He needs to play every game in the competitive manner that he does.

“Of course, you don’t want to pick up unnecessary yellow cards at any stage of the season. I think some of the yellow cards that he’s had have been harsh, there’s a few that stick in my head and I’ve spoken about that before with Sam.

“It is what it is. He has to go and play his game and try not to give away any unnecessary yellow cards, then we’ll see where we get to.”