'I really enjoyed watching us' - McKenna on 1-0 win at Doncaster

Ipswich Manager Kieran McKenna celebrates the away win at Doncaster.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna celebrates the away win at Doncaster. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna says he can't wait for Saturday's game at MK Dons after his side closed the gap on the League One play-off places with a dominant 1-0 win at Doncaster Rovers tonight.

Tyreeq Bakinson's rebound finish in the 39th minute settled a game which Ipswich controlled from start to finish and really should have killed off earlier.

Town, who have now won six of the eight games played since McKenna took charge, have moved to within six points of the top-six.

"I'm looking forward it," said McKenna, turning his attentions to the weekend clash at Stadium MK. 

"I've seen quite a bit of Milton Keynes, they're obviously a very good footballing team, have a good style of play and are going well in the league. We know there's a big travelling fanbase going there (7,000+) and everyone is excited by how that represents the club. This sets it up for a good game. We hope to go there and do well."

Reflecting on successive 1-0 victories against lowly Gillingham and Doncaster, McKenna said: "Gillingham, yeah, they were bottom of the league, but they'd come off a win (against Crewe). I knew watching them it was going to be a difficult game. Doncaster beat Sunderland at the weekend and could have been three of four nil up with how well they counter-attacked. 

"It's not so much about looking at the league positions in this league. Some of the styles of play are so different. Doncaster are a really good team on the counter, so we knew that controlling the ball was going to be a big part of today, getting our positioning right and not giving them too many counter attacks. I think we managed to do that. I don't think they had a pure counter-attack in the whole game.

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"It was a really good performance. I enjoyed watching us play. I thought we had good control of the game in the first half, took the ball really well, but we had that extra bit of penetration and thrust. Our movement off the ball was really good, we found spaces behind the midfield, we ran down the sides, we got crosses in, we had more bodies in the box, more service to the striker. Our counter pressure was good. We didn't allow them to play or build into our half at all.

"There are lots of pleasing bits to the performance. Obviously, the main thing we could have improved was to get the second goal. I think if we'd have got the second goal then there's every chance we would have gone and got three and four. When you don't get that second goal there's always a chance something can happen at the end. 

"But it's a really pleasing performance. I'm pleased with the goal and how we defended. It just would have been nice for us to be that little bit more clinical to kill the game off earlier."

On goalscorer Bakinson, McKenna added: "He's capable of both roles - sitting a little bit deeper and building up the play and getting forwards more. This is the first time he's played in there with Lee Evans, who obviously gives us that control and experience a bit deeper, so we gave Tyreeq that licence tonight to be able to get beyond their midfield and get in their box.

"He's shown throughout his young career that he is able to chip in with a goal and he's done it again tonight."

With this Town's fifth clean sheet in eight games under McKenna, the Northern Irishman added: "The clean sheets are going to be important for us. It's definitely not come from lots of defending and letting the other team have the ball. If we keep the ball and control the game in the opposition's half of the pitch as much as possible then we're going to be better defensively. 

"Doncaster went to Sunderland on Saturday and put on a really, really good counter-attacking performance so we knew tonight it was going to be important for us to keep and control the ball.

"For me, clean sheets are about how well connected we are as a team on the ball, off the ball, set plays, counter-attacks, all of those things. We've managed to do that pretty well over the last few weeks, but we can still improve."