McKenna on decision to cut short Barry's Villa loan spell

Louie Barry during the warm-up before kick-off at Burton Albion.

Louie Barry made just two league appearances for Ipswich Town during his loan spell from Aston Villa. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has discussed his decision to cut short Louie Barry's loan spell from Aston Villa.

Barry, signed in the summer by previous Blues boss Paul Cook, was due to spend the whole season at Portman Road as part of his early development.

However, the 18-year-old attacker departs early having made just four starts and two sub appearances - his only league outings having come back in August. 

"I knew Louie as a young player growing up," said McKenna, who previously coached both Tottenham and Manchester United's U18s.

"I'd seen him for Aston Villa and know what a talent he is.

"We just looked at the squad and had a conversation with Louie.

"He had an injury issue when I came in, some illness issues as well, so he's missed some football. He hasn't played as many minutes as what he'd hoped for, but I really feel, and he also feels, that he's had a really good experience overall.

"I think the first loan move is often about all the things around playing minutes. It's about living away from home, going into a new dressing room, training with men, playing against men, being around an environment where three points matter.

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"Louie hasn't played as much as he'd want for various reasons and we both came to an agreement that he's had a great experience, is very grateful to the club for giving him the opportunity, he feels he has learnt and improved a lot and he's at that stage now where he wants to play regular minutes, get regular starts and go somewhere where he's got a real chance to play more regularly in the first 11.

"With the size of the squad we have at the minute and the options we have we felt that was probably going to be difficult here for him in the short-term.

"We wish him well. The players have wished him well. I didn't get the chance to work with him very long, but you can see he's a lovely kid, a really bright boy and I'm sure he'll go on to have a really good career in the game. Hopefully this experience will have stood him in good stead."

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