'It's a coup' - McGreal on McKenna appointment

Town caretaker manager John McGreal being interviewed ahead of the game.

John McGreal will be in caretaker charge of Ipswich Town for one more game tomorrow. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town interim boss John McGreal believes the club hiring Kieran McKenna as their new manager is a coup.

McGreal will take charge of the Blues for a fourth and final time tomorrow for a near sell-out League One clash with Sunderland at Portman Road.

McKenna and his assistant Martyn Pert, both of whom have been working as first team coaches at Manchester United, will then take over in preparation for the Boxing Day trip to Gillingham. 

"I'm biased, but I think it's a brilliant appointment," enthused McGreal.

“Listen, he’s been Manchester United’s assistant manager - let’s not forget about that.

“You only have to look at his track record, the players he’s integrated into the first team, the players he’s coached, the managers he’s coached under... it’s a quality CV to be fair! 

“I think it’s a big appointment by the football club. I think it shows what direction the club is going. 

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“He’ll need our backing and we’ll all be here to give him that support." 

McGreal continued: “Kieran actually rang me last night when I was at the Youth Cup game and we had a brief chat. 

“I congratulated him and he’s really looking forward to it. Why wouldn’t you be? It’s Ipswich Town. It’s his first managerial job and it’s a great one to start with. 

“He’ll have done his research. He’ll be well prepped and done all his homework on the players. He'll be coming with fresh ideas to get us on the right track. 

“He’s got his Tottenham background as well as Man United. Listen, he’ll be well connected throughout the football world, there’s no doubt about that. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing how he works because I’ve still got tonnes and tonnes to learn myself. 

“The new owners have put their money where their mouth is with the players recruited. Now they’ve gone out and got a coup of a manager, a well-respected coach, so it’s a win-win."

Asked if McKenna will have a say in the team selection and set-up tomorrow, McGreal said: "He’s said he wants us guys to take charge of this game and then he’ll start with a clean slate. 

“But he’ll be in the stands and if he needs to make contact we’re open to that. There’s no problem with that at all. He’s the new gaffer – whatever he wants we’ll support him and try to supply for him."

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