Rating Town's players after McKenna's first 15 games
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
New Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has now been in charge for 15 games, inspiring a turnaround in the Blues' fortunes. Mark Heath looks at how each player has fared in that time...
TOP OF THE CLASS
Games: 11 Average rating: 7.5
No surprise here. Super skipper Morsy has taken his game up a notch since McKenna arrived, getting forward more, leading by example and opening his Town goal-scoring account. There are few, if any, better midfielders in the third tier. Town will miss him badly if his hamstring injury keeps him out for an extended period.
Games: 15 Average rating: 7.1
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One of the players who have benefited most from McKenna's arrival, Ipswich lad Luke has been a key part of that Blue wall backline which has kept 11 clean sheets in those 15 matches so far. Woolfenden's calm, assured and solid - plus has shown he can stroll forward too, when called for.
Games: 15 Average rating: 7.1
Mr Consistency. Donacien hasn't really looked back since replacing a beleaguered Kane Vincent-Young in the first half of that 5-2 tonking by Bolton back in September. Looks like he was born to play this role in a back three, and never lets the side down. Works well with Burns to allow the Welsh speedster to attack. Surely has to be in any player of the season conversation.
Games: 6 Average rating: 7
Just imagine what could have been, had Evans and Morsy been fit and available to play together all season in the heart of the midfield. The duo work together so well, with Evans doing the heavy lifting necessary to allow his skipper to get forward more. Was much maligned earlier in the season, but looks a different player next to Morsy. Town need him back ASAP.
Games: 14 Average rating: 6.9
Town's big keeper has kept ten of those 11 clean sheets since McKenna's arrival. Commands his box well, can make super saves and brings a calm air of authority to that defensive unit. The Blues' best keeper for quite some time.
SHOWING REAL PROMISE
Games: 8 Average rating: 6.8
Super Sone has been simply breath-taking at times, earning two 9/10 ratings in his eight qualifying games under McKenna. His touch is incredible, he links play so well, he can create and also has a knack for winning the ball back. A wonderful talent, and surely merits a new deal.
Games: 12 Average rating: 6.8
The livewire has been tried in a deeper midfield role alongside Morsy in McKenna's tenure, as well as seeing plenty of action further up the pitch in his more customary attacking role. Always a threat to create something with the ball and figures to be a key player in these last eight games.
Games: 9 Average rating: 6.8
Another of the resurgent players under McKenna, Jackson's gone from having one foot out of the door to the starting striker role. Town have been playing to his strengths, using that electrifying pace to open teams up and put the pressure on. Looks to have suffered a bad hamstring injury at the weekend, which is a real shame for a man enjoying such a renaissance.
Games: 15 Average rating: 6.7
It's well-documented how important the flying Welshman is to this side. Has scored seven goals in McKenna's tenure, and is just as likely to create something for others with his rampaging runs and drilled balls into the box. Has been carrying a few knocks of late, and Town will need him at his swashbuckling best if they are to make a real push for the top six.
Games: 14 Average rating: 6.6
How Town will miss Big George, who could be done for the season with ankle ligament damage. A couple of 4/10 scores have dragged his average rating down here, but he's been a huge part of that impenetrable Blue wall backline. Cameron Burgess has big boots to fill.
MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
Games: 9 Average rating: 6.4
Will the real Tyreeq Bakinson please stand up? Can look absolute quality one minute, and rather less than quality the next. As my colleague Stuart Watson so superbly put it, Bakinson has a talent for making the difficult look easy, and the easy look difficult.
Games: 13 Average rating: 6.3
Maybe a bit of a surprise to see Chaplin this low down the ratings, but 6/10 has largely been his mark since McKenna came in. Can clearly score and create, and is always busy - just needs to find a bit more consistency of contribution.
Games: 4 Average rating: 6.3
This season just hasn't worked out as expected for the laid-back striker, who's fallen well down the pecking order and has netted just three times all campaign. If Jackson is out for an extended period, there will be a chance/need for someone to step up at the top of the pitch - could it be Pigott?
Games: 3 Average rating: 6.3
We've not seen Penney, a starter on the left for much of the season, since January 15, with the man below him on this list taking his spot. Penney is a capable player, but has been up and down for much of his time in Suffolk so far.
Games: 10 Average rating: 6.1
The Brentford loanee has nailed down the starting left wing-back spot in McKenna's 3-4-3 and has shown flashes of quality in his time so far. Perhaps suffers in comparison with Burns on opposite side of the pitch - while he's a right winger playing at right wing-back, Thompson is more of a left-back playing at left wing-back, and thus doesn't have the same inclination to charge forward.
MUST DO BETTER
Games: 10 Average rating: 5.8
It's absolutely staggering, given Bonne's furious start to the season, that he should be all the way down here. The stats don't lie though - while he's still Town's leading scorer with 12, he's now only scored once in 22 games. Frustratingly, he had a perfectly good goal ruled out on Saturday, which would have been a major lift. Will he be the man McKenna turns to if Jackson is out?
Games: 6 Average rating: 5.8
The midfielder with Premier League pedigree and a loyalty card for the injury room generally competes with Bakinson for a starting spot when either Morsy or Evans are out. With both potentially out going forward, Town will need more from Carroll. He's a neat and tidy player who can move the ball around, but will never be a Morsy-esque all-action dynamo.
Games: 4 Average rating: 5.8
So much has changed for KVY - from the electrifying right-back who was going to lead Town to promotion on his own, to a fringe player who offers depth at full-back and wing-back. He needs an injury-free run in the team, but it's hard to see him getting it at the moment.
Games: 9 Average rating: 5.7
The original renaissance man, Norwood bounced off the transfer list back onto the scene with a four-goal December, but now hasn't scored since January 8 and has garnered three 4/10 ratings under McKenna. Another who could yet have a big role to play this season.
- Average ratings compiled from Andy Warren's match marks. Players need to have merited ratings in at least three games to qualify for this list.