McKenna believes refs are 'quick to punish' Morsy

Sam Morsy clashes with Dean Lewington at MK Dons.

Sam Morsy clashes with Dean Lewington at MK Dons. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna believes referees are 'quick to punish' his competitive skipper Sam Morsy.

Morsy was controversially sent off for Middlesbrough early in the campaign and then handed an equally controversial retrospective red card for an off-the-ball incident in Town's 2-1 home win against Accrington Stanley last month.

On his return from a four-game ban, the 30-year-old was booked in the latter stages of Saturday's 0-0 draw at MK Dons. That was his 12th yellow card of the campaign.

"I'm disappointed in that yellow card at the end," said McKenna. "I don't think Sam hardly made a tackle in the game, so for me it seems to be that as soon as he makes a foul he gets a yellow card, which I don’t quite understand. I thought there were worse challenges in the game."

Asked if he felt his captain was a marked man with referees, the Blues boss replied: “I’m not sure, I’ve not seen enough, but I know he’s obviously got a high yellow card count.

"I know he’s very competitive, wants to win, but everything I’ve seen from him, he plays fair.

“So, I think it seems to be, from my very brief experience at the moment, that he’s quick to get punished for things that aren’t quite such a big issue.

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“He’s going to have to manage himself, he’s going to have to manage his discipline on the pitch, but we want him to stay as competitive as he is.”

McKenna, who side are now preparing for back-to-back home games against Burton (Saturday) and Cheltenham (next Tuesday), added: "It's good to have him back. He gives us that extra dimension with the way he can take the ball in deep areas and run through the pitch. It gives us that extra attacking threat, that extra bit of thrust."