Kieran McKenna is Ipswich Town’s third permanent manager since the start of the 2021 calendar year.
It’s been 10 games in charge for McKenna, who was appointed manager for Ipswich Town Football Club on 16 December 2021, following the sacking of Paul Cook. The Ipswich board made the decision to move on from Cook, who had been in charge for just over nine months, following the team’s 0-0 draw with Sky Bet League Two side Barrow in the Emirates FA Cup. However, the Tractor Boys would eventually be knocked out of the cup in the replay following a 2-0 score line in favour of Barrow.
Since McKenna’s first game in charge on the touchline against Wycombe Wanderers on December 29, Ipswich have managed to collect five wins, two losses and a draw under the former Manchester United assistant manager.
For the Tractor Boys, goals are not a problem. The team is tied for fifth in Sky Bet League One for goals scored, netting 48 in league matches this season matching second-place team Wigan in the goal scoring department. However, with 38 goals conceded in the league, Ipswich is one of just three teams in the top 13 of the table with 38 or more goals allowed – joining Bolton (10th in the league) with 38 goals, and Sunderland (4th in the league) with 41 goals. Since the appointment of McKenna, Ipswich have scored 10 goals and are averaging 1.43 goals per game.
Ipswich arrive at the Eco-Power Stadium on the heels of a 1-0 win Gillingham at Portman Road on the weekend. Conor Chaplin’s 74th-minute score was all that separated the two sides on the night. Chaplin is tied for second on the team with eight goals scored on the season, matching Wes Burns with eight goals as well. But for Burns, the midfielder was subbed off during the Gillingham game over the weekend after suffering a small knock. However, during his postgame interview, McKenna said he doesn’t think the injury will be long-term, but will wait on the official word from the team’s medical staff.
Coincidentally, the clean sheet against Gillingham was the 11th of the season for the Tractor Boys, including three 0-0 draws. Since the start of the 2020/21 season, Ipswich Town have collected 33 clean sheets across all competitions.
Ipswich have had a rollercoaster season, so to speak. They have won five of their last 10 league matches, adding three losses and two draws. Over the course of their last 15 games in all competitions, the Tractor Boys have won six, lost five and drawn four – including the FA Cup replay with Barrow, and losing on penalties to the Arsenal U21 team in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Since the last time Doncaster Rovers and Ipswich Town met in September, the upward trajectory has certainly favoured the Tractor Boys, as Ipswich arrive into Tuesday’s game ninth in the league table on 44 points. They were 21st in the table back in September in the game at Portman Road and have picked up 35 points in the league since that time.
In that game back in September between Rovers and Ipswich Town, it was a dominant 6-0 win for the home side, as the Tractor Boys used four second half goals to run away with the win. Lee Evans was named man of the match with his hat-trick – all three of his goals coming in a 12-minute span during the second half. In fact, all four goals for the Tractor Boys occurred during that same 12-minute duration.
In the head-to-head between the two clubs, Rovers have lost five, won one and drawn one in the last seven meetings between the two teams.