Edmundson on 'bullying' Sunderland, playing in a back three, Portman Road atmosphere and McKenna's introduction

George Edmundson applauding fans after the game.

George Edmundson will hopefully play the vast majority of Ipswich Town's games in 2022. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

George Edmundson was pleased with the way Ipswich Town were able to ‘bully’ Sunderland during the two sides’ 1-1 draw this afternoon. 

The Blues took the lead through James Norwood at Portman Road, with the goal in first-half added time a just reward for an excellent display in the opening period, packed with intensity, desire and some moments of quality. 

Town let their lead slip at the start of the second period, as Nathan Broadhead struck, but Edmundson was pleased with his side’s display and they point they ultimately took from the contest. 

“I thought we were the better team, especially in the first-half where we were the best we played all season, probably,” he said. “You could see the intensity throughout the whole game. 

Town players congratulate James Norwood after his goal.

Town players congratulate James Norwood after his goal. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“Second half we let them back in it but, earlier on in the season, we’d have maybe crumbled a bit and lost that game. 

“They’re a good side on a good run so it’s a good point. 

“We said we would go man-for-man all over the pitch and try and bully them, which I think we did really well. 

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“If you look back at the game they’ve had something like two shots, scoring one of them, but if you look at our chances we were having shots blocked and were sustaining attacks as well. It wasn’t just like a basketball game – we were on top for 80 or 85 minutes of it.” 

A tweak of system saw Edmundson line up in a back three alongside Luke Woolfenden and Janoi Donacien, with the former Rangers man enjoying the role he was asked to play. 

“We’ve worked a lot with John (McGreal, interim boss) this week about how we’re going to play and going with three at the back, which we nailed down and worked his gameplan really well,” he said. 

A packed Portman Road ready to welcome the teams onto the pitch ahead of the game.

A packed Portman Road ready to welcome the teams onto the pitch ahead of the game. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“I like playing three at the back. I made my debut (for Oldham) there but on the right side, although this was the first time I’ve played on the left. 

“I spoke to most of the centre-halves because it was a big positional change for us and most of them like playing three-at-the-back as well as four. It’s one everyone looks forward to playing.” 

The clash with the Black Cats was played out in front of a crowd of more than 29,000, with Portman Road packed with supporters waving blue and white flags as the players were welcomed to the pitch by fire cannons. 

“It was brilliant,” Edmundson said of the atmosphere. 

“The flags were a great idea and the pyro (fire cannons) was brilliant too.  

“As a kid these are the games you want to play in, when stadiums are full, so it was great. Hopefully we can get that again this season.” 

Incoming manager Kieran McKenna speaking with Ipswich Towns Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton duri

Incoming manager Kieran McKenna speaking with Ipswich Towns Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton during the Sunderland game. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

New boss Kieran McKenna was watching from the stands, having briefly addressed his new squad prior to the game. 

“He just came in before the game and said a quick hello and introduced himself,” Edmundson said. 

“We had a game so he didn’t talk too much and we just spoke for a couple of minutes. 

“Everybody knows his background, where he’s been and the managers he’s worked under, so it’s all positive. All the boys are buzzing to get going with him.” 

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