'Kieran will be backed' - Ashton and McKenna on January window

Ipswich Towns Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton pictured ahead of the game.

Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton says new boss Kieran McKenna will be backed in the January transfer window. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Ipswich Town chief executive Mark Ashton says new manager Kieran McKenna 'will be backed' in the January transfer window.

Highly-rated young coach McKenna has been lured away from a first team coaching role at Manchester United to become the 19th permanent manager in Town's history.

Appointed last Thursday, the 35-year-old watched from the stands as the Blues, currently 11th in League One, drew 1-1 with Sunderland on Saturday in front of a bumper crowd of 29,005 at Portman Road.

This morning McKenna met members of staff at Playford Road, he then spoke to the media via Zoom and tomorrow will take charge of his first training session with the players in preparation for the Boxing Day game at Gillingham.

After that comes home games against Wycombe (Dec 29) and Lincoln (Jan 1), with the January transfer window then open.

“From my perspective I’m hoping it’s not as busy as the summer, that’s for sure," said Ashton, who signed 19 players in one hectic window for previous boss Paul Cook only to sack him 15 league games after August 31.

“Kieran will be backed, he will be supported. We’re already starting to talk about the shape of the squad now and the shape of the squad moving forwards. 

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“We’ll continue those discussions in the next few days, 

“But, yes, I fully anticipate that we will be active in the January window."

Kieran McKenna, pictured alongside Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton at his first press conference

Kieran McKenna, pictured alongside Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton at his first press conference - Credit: Zoom

McKenna said: “We’ve had some initial discussions. To be completely honest my focus is on the players in the building at the moment. 

“For sure the club will be active. I’ve handed in some recommendations in terms of personnel and positions in terms of what could be useful for us. 

“That’s going to be a lot of work for the club to do and I’ll support them with that.

"My focus has got to be on the squad that we have though. A lot of players came in during the summer and we have a deep and talented squad at this level. 

“So my focus is going to be on getting that right and getting the best out of the players that we have here by working with them on the training pitch and getting the environment where I want it to be. 

“I know January is not a long way away, but every day is important and has to be maximised. It’s, what, nine days to January? Ninety-nine per cent of my man power and effort is going to be put into the players in the building."

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