'We're all very much aligned' - McKenna on working under Town owners

Kieran McKenna is enjoying working with Town's American owners

Kieran McKenna is enjoying working with Town's American owners - Credit: Steve Waller

Kieran McKenna believes all of Ipswich Town’s key players are aligned in their vision for the club. 

McKenna was the first manager appointed by the club’s American ownership when he replaced Paul Cook in December, with CEO Mark Ashton leading the hiring process. 

Gamechanger 20 last week celebrated the one-year anniversary of their purchase from Marcus Evans, with the Town boss enjoying working with Ashton in Suffolk and encouraged by the interactions he has had with the club’s owners in the United States. 

“I've had a few good conversations with the guys in the States on Zoom and obviously met them when they were across,” McKenna said. 

“Ed (Schwartz, of ORG Portfolio Management and board member of Gamechanger) was across not so long ago, so I got a chance to spend a little bit of time with him, and obviously got to spend a little bit of time with the guys from the Three Lions (Mark Detmer, Berke Bakay and Brett Johnson) when they were across. 

“Most of the dialogue on a daily and weekly basis is obviously with Mark (Ashton) and he's in constant communication with the Americans and they're very much interested and involved in how things are developing. 

“They've been great. They've been really supportive every time I've spoken to them, they've been really supportive and all the communication and feedback through Mark has been really positive. 

“They're really enjoying what we're doing with the team, enjoying the idea that we have for the club, and it's very much aligned with our idea of how we want to build a football club.

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“So it's been a really positive relationship so far. They've been really good with their feedback and really supportive, and I’m looking forward to getting to speak to them a little bit more and meet them a little bit more, hopefully in the off-season and going into the summer.” 

While much of McKenna’s focus is on football matters, Ashton and the board have put in place a busy improvement programme which will see upgrades made at both Portman Road and the club’s training ground. 

McKenna said: “There is lots going on behind the scenes and that's an important part of what we're doing. We have to build all the different aspects of the football club up to the level where we want them to be. 

“I think it's been publicised some of the work that's going on at the stadium, same here with the training ground, same with staff improvements, same with player recruitment. 

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna punches the air in celebration after his side had secured a 1-0

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna punches the air in celebration after his side had secured a 1-0 victory over Plymouth. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“It's about developing the infrastructure of the football club again because we think developing that infrastructure will set us up for more sustainable success and a sustainable and bright future. 

“A lot of that work at times you don't see the fruits of the labour until quite far down the line, but it's the right thing to do and the right thing to build the club. 

“And thankfully the ownership group are very much behind that and that's how they like to develop their projects as well, over a longer period. 

“That's a part of the job that myself and the staff, and certainly Mark and his staff, are enjoying and are looking to keep working on the different aspects of the club.”