'A manager like ours lifts everybody' - Penney on early days under McKenna

Matt Penney is enjoying life at Ipswich Town under Kieran McKenna

Matt Penney is enjoying life at Ipswich Town under Kieran McKenna - Credit: PA

Matt Penney believes the beginning of Kieran McKenna’s tenure has given the Ipswich Town players a lift. 

The Blues are off-and-running under the Northern Irishman following Wednesday’s victory over Wycombe, though they will now need to wait until January 8 at Gillingham for their next game after their scheduled clash with Lincoln was postponed. 

Penney started McKenna’s first match as a left wing-back and revealed the new boss has put a spring in the step of the squad in training, with that work translating into a good performance on the field. 

“Since he’s been here we’ve had some really hard work on the training pitch and it’s been a tough few days,” Penney said. 

“It’s been great to work with him and hopefully we can kick on now. Training has been different and we’re all enjoying it because the sessions are sharp and the standard is high. 

“He’s bringing in lots of different techniques, which the boys are thriving off, so it’s all very exciting. 

"When a new manager comes in it’s a clean slate for everybody and it’s about showing him what you can do and what you can offer to help the team to the next level. 

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“We’ve all come together, even the boys who aren’t playing and the subs, and we’re all fighting for the same cause. 

“When a manager like ours walks into the building with a background like his and the players he’s worked with, it lifts everybody. 

“He can only improve us as people and as players and the boys are thriving off it.” 

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna pictured with goalscorer James Norwood after the game.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna pictured with goalscorer James Norwood after the game. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Wednesday’s victory came courtesy of James Norwood, who scored his third goal in as many league games, having returned to first-team duty following a spell exiled to the Under 23s. 

“James Norwood scores goals,” Penney said of Town’s No.10. “That’s the be-all and end-all of it. 

“Off the field – no comment. But on the pitch he scores goals and he’s a top, top guy. 

“That’s why strikers get paid the most money.” 

On the victory over Wycombe, Penney continued: “As players and staff, all you want is three points so thankfully we got that. Now we want to kick on in the second half of the season. 

“The boys are delighted. We’ve worked our socks off and had a gameplan which we stuck to. We knew what they would offer but we’ve dealt with their threat and won the game ourselves so the boys are very happy to get it over the line. 

“Each game offers a different threat and we dealt with Wycombe well before imposing ourselves on it. It wasn’t the prettiest but that can come in time.” 

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