Kieran betters mate Carrick
IT WAS the summer of 2018 when Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick were both promoted to Manchester United’s coaching staff under Jose Mourinho. On this evidence, only one has a realistic chance of being back in the Premier League next season.
While Carrick’s Middlesbrough have hit a mid-season slump, McKenna’s free-flowing Ipswich side march on.
This latest victory, courtesy of goals from Conor Chaplin and Omari Hutchinson, maintained a seven-point advantage over thirdplaced Leeds in the promotion positions and was every inch the performance of a side capable of remaining in the top-two mix.
Perhaps their biggest concern is whether McKenna, who is increasingly being linked with jobs in the Premier League, will still be with them come the end of the season. The Ipswich boss said: ‘I thought it was a really complete performance, especially for an away game. We controlled most elements of the match.
‘I liked our out-of-possession game, both high and low, and I liked our in-possession game too.
‘I thought we could maybe have been a bit cleaner in our execution in the final third and created more chances, especially in the first half, but there was so much good work in all phases of the game.’
Ipswich opened the scoring nine minutes before the break when Chaplin seized on a loose ball after Jonny Howson failed to cut out a Wes Burns cross. Chaplin’s shot flicked off the head of Matt Clarke before beating Seny Dieng.
The Ipswich forward then turned provider midway through the second half, slotting through substitute Hutchinson, who broke into the area before sliding home a slick finish.
It was Ipswich’s sixth away win of the season, hugely impressive given they were only promoted from League One in May.
Boro’s best chance came to nothing when Emmanuel Latte Lath shot wide at the end of the first half, and with nine players missing because of injury or bans, the Tees-siders have now lost three of their last four.
Carrick said: ‘We’re disappointed. We knew coming into the game that they were a good team and we’d have to be at our best to get a result, but we were just a little bit short. We are
not quite firing at the moment. We improved a number of things in the second half, notably our pressing and regains, but the second goal came from out of nothing really.’
dmg media (UK)