'We’re coming from slightly different angles' - McKenna on role of assistant Pert

Kieran McKenna is assisted by Martyn Pert at Ipswich Town

Kieran McKenna is assisted by Martyn Pert at Ipswich Town - Credit: Stephen Waller

Kieran McKenna has praised the importance of assistant Martyn Pert, following the pair’s good start to life at Ipswich Town.  

McKenna and Pert, who had worked together at Manchester United before swapping Old Trafford for Portman Road in December, have won seven, drawn three and lost two of their 12 matches since taking charge of the Blues. 

Two points were dropped last Tuesday night as Ipswich drew 0-0 with Cheltenham, but the clean sheet was Town’s fifth on the bounce,.

They drew again at Morecambe on Saturday, but still Ipswich have conceded just five goals during the pair’s time in Suffolk. 

While McKenna is in his first management job, Pert brings a wealth of experience having previously worked under Aidy Boothroyd with both Watford and Coventry, before traveling the world to work in Ecuador, Canada and the Middle East ahead of his move to Old Trafford.  

Assistant Manager Martyn Pert at Gillingham.

Assistant Manager Martyn Pert at Gillingham. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

And that experience, as well as a considered approach, is something valued highly by McKenna. 

“He’s a probably a little bit, I wouldn’t say calmer than me because I’m quite calm, but Martyn is very considered,” McKenna said of his assistant. “Very, very considered. 

Most Read

“I can be a little bit more fiery, with maybe a little bit more of an Irish temperament at times. Martyn’s got more of a Suffolk temperament on a day-to-day basis. 

“There’s a nice balance in that way and he’s obviously from a completely different part of the world (Norfolk) with a different upbringing to me and he’s had a wide range of experiences. 

“He’s travelled the world. A lot in Europe but also in South America to learn about different styles of play and different styles of coaching. 

“He’s really well connected across the footballing world really. His contact book throughout the football industry always amazes me, to be honest. He knows a lot of people and he’s really strong in that aspect. 

Assistant Manager Martyn Pert at Gillingham.

Assistant Manager Martyn Pert at Gillingham. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“It’s nice I guess to have somebody who has had some similar experiences to me but then also to come from a different angle. 

“A lot of my upbringing has been in academy football and development football and he’s been in first-team football in and around promotions and relegations probably since he was in his mid-to-late 20s. 

“We’re coming from slightly different angles and have different experiences and I feel like we’re able to put them in different pathways together and hopefully we make a good team at the moment.” 

Kieran McKenna and assistant Martyn Pert head out onto the training pitch at Playford Road

Kieran McKenna and assistant Martyn Pert head out onto the training pitch at Playford Road - Credit: ITFC

Asked if Pert was someone he had long-eyed as his potential assistant, McKenna said: “It wasn’t something we had discussed too much because obviously we were both very much focussed on our role at Manchester United. 

“But knowing that I wanted to take the step into management and knowing the qualities of an assistant manager I would want, he was certainly someone always in the back of my mind. I always had in my head that Martyn would certainly be somebody who would fit those criteria. 

“He’s obviously had experience in the role before, he’s a very, very good person, loyal, humble, a really good worker, also a really good understanding of football, not just from a technical and tactical perspective but a really good understanding of football clubs and the inner workings of football clubs from the vast range of experiences he’s had. 

“He’s really important to me, I’m delighted to have him here. He’s a fantastic assistant manager for me to have, especially at this stage in my career, my first job in management, and he’s a really part of everything that I do day-to-day here and I’m delighted to have him on board.” 

Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd during the Coca-Cola Football League Championship match at Vicarage R

Martyn Pert worked alongside Aidy Boothroyd at both Watford and Coventry. - Credit: PA