McGreal predicts new manager 'bounce' versus Sunderland

Town caretaker manager John McGreal.

John McGreal will take charge of Ipswich Town for one last game before new manager Kieran McKenna takes the reins. - Credit: Steve Waller -

Ipswich Town interim boss John McGreal fully expects to see a new manager 'bounce' in tomorrow's home game against Sunderland.

The Blues have now won just two of their last 12 games following Wednesday night's embarrassing televised 2-0 defeat at lowly League Two side Barrow in an FA Cup second round replay.

Highly-rated young Manchester United coach Kieran McKenna was appointed as the club's new manager the following day though and a near sell-out 30,000 crowd will be there to greet him tomorrow thanks to the success of the club's 'pack out Portman Road' ticket campaign.

“A new gaffer being appointed always brings that little bounce," said McGreal, who will take charge of the team as McKenna and his assistant Martyn Pert watch from the stands.

“The starting 11 know they’ve got an opportunity to showcase themselves to the new manager. 

“Also, there’s the added bonus of knowing it’s going to be a near capacity Portman Road. So if that doesn’t get you going and wanting to run around then maybe some of the guys are in the wrong game.

“There will be a lot fans coming back for this game and hopefully we can put on a performance that has them wanting to keep coming back. That’s what we’re planing to do. 

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“We know it’s going to be tough. Sunderland are in fine form at the moment. They’re flexing their muscles a little bit. But we feel as though we can get a good result against them."

Town dominated much of the earlier reverse fixture up at The Stadium of Light last month only to lose 2-0 thanks to two late suckerpunches. Since then, Lee Johnson's men haven't lost in the league.

“That win against us seemed to be a little bit of turning point for them," said McGreal. "Prior to that they weren’t in the best of form, but they end up nicking that win and now they're on a run. 

“It just shows that we can get that win tomorrow it makes a hell of a difference going into the Christmas period where the games come thick and fast. It’s a big game."

On the team's recent form, McGreal said: “It’s an experienced group and, if you’re honest with yourself, you do know when you’re not performing. 

“There are a lot of boys we’re trying to pick up. This is a fresh start again for everyone now though. The gaffer can now look across the board and see what he’s got. 

"The inconsistency levels have been there for everyone to see. We were down at Charlton, we put in a really good performance at Wigan, we were down again on Wednesday. 

“Tomorrow, I’ve got no doubt the guys will be galvanised, will apply themselves in the right way and put on a strong performance."

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