Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna: We were fortunate with narrow win over Gillingham

Posted Sunday, February 06, 2022 by PA

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna: We were fortunate with narrow win over Gillingham

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna admitted that his team was “fortunate” to pick up three points following Saturday’s narrow 1-0 League One victory over Gillingham.

He said it was not his side’s “best performance” but the only goal of the game from Conor Chaplin was worthy of the win.

McKenna said: “It definitely wasn’t our best performance for sure.

“It was a tough game, we had the feeling all week it was going to be a tough game and I know from perception from outside the group – on the run that we have been on and the run that they have been on – that maybe we would have been in for a comfortable game, but we never thought that.

“I watched their game on Tuesday night (a 1-0 victory over Crewe) and I knew that they were going to come here and pack their defence, run really hard and be good on their direct play and flick-ons and I knew it was going to be a big challenge.

“I never had the feeling all week that it was going to be a pretty one or a convincing win.

“We know we have the quality to score a goal even not on our best day and we know that we were fortunate to get the three points.”

The win kept Ipswich’s outside chances of moving into the top six places alive while condemning their visitors to remain second-bottom and a long way from surviving the dreaded drop.

Ipswich goalkeeper Christian Walton was called into action after just three minutes when he had to push away a goal-bound 30-yard free-kick by Danny Lloyd, who was carried off on a stretcher in the second half with a serious knee injury.

Vadaine Oliver struck the post and – moments later – Walton diverted a shot around the post from Lloyd.

But Chaplin finally broke the deadlock in the 74th minute when he hammered the ball home with a low shot.

Visiting boss Neil Harris was frustrated that his team did not get at least a point out of the game.

Harris said: “It was frustrating in the sense that we got nothing out of the game and we deserved, arguably, to win the game.

“Ipswich are a great team, great players, great squad, they dominated a lot of the ball.

“The first five minutes we were excellent and then for 25 minutes they moved the ball really well.

“We grew into it before half-time and came out second half, we hit the post twice, had clear chances.

“We could have been three or four up and then it goes against us with a moment of quality.

“I was disappointed with the goal but I can’t fault the players and I said to them ‘we set the standards on Tuesday’ and they have certainly improved them today.”


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