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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna and Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt both agree Blues should have taken all three points



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There may be many points on which the managers of Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers see things differently but an unjust outcome of today's 1-1 draw at Portman Road is not one of them.

Despite falling behind to Aaron Morley's 25th minute penalty, before Lee Evans replied running on to a corner in the 38th minute, it was the Suffolk side who should have taken all three points in both Kieran McKenna and Ian Evatt's eyes.

A dominant second half from the hosts, which included passing up some glorious late chances to win it, notably from Sam Morsy in stoppage time, certainly left the home manager feeling short-changed.

Kieran McKenna felt his Ipswich Town side deserved all three points in their Portman Road opener Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kieran McKenna felt his Ipswich Town side deserved all three points in their Portman Road opener Picture: Barry Goodwin

"I thought we did more than enough to win the game, obviously especially in the first half but even in the later stages of the first half," he told the assembled media.

"It was quite an edgy first 20 minutes, it can happen, it is understandable. No matter how much you talk about it it's those human emotions, playing in front of a crowd that size and the build-up to the game.

"There was nothing really in the game, it was very bitty with not many balls in play.

Ipswich captain Sam Morsy passed up a good late chance to win it but his manager is confident he will bounce back from it and praised his performance Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ipswich captain Sam Morsy passed up a good late chance to win it but his manager is confident he will bounce back from it and praised his performance Picture: Barry Goodwin

"Obviously we got a really early blow with the penalty out of nothing really that to my eye was a bit soft.

"I think the most pleasing thing from that was the response from the players and from the crowd.

"I think everyone stayed really positive. It would have been easy to drop their heads at that point and for the crowd to get disappointed but everyone stayed together and the response was really good.

"It was obviously a well-worked goal for the first goal and we started to find a rhythm at the end of the first half. And in the second half, once the ball was able to stay in play a bit longer, we were able to get a bit more of a flow to the game and I thought our football and our physicality really took over.

Janoi Donacien looks to put in a cross from right wing in the second half Picture: Barry Goodwin
Janoi Donacien looks to put in a cross from right wing in the second half Picture: Barry Goodwin

"We had more than enough chances to win a game at this level and it just wasn't to be on the day but I'm sure we will keep improving from here."

Asked if the amount of missed chances would send him back into the transfer market to get a striker, he replied: "No. It's not just about the striker. I think the big chance ahead of all of them was from Sam who plays in midfield. Tyreece came on as a left-sided 10 and had big chances.

"I thought our strikers both put in really good performances. I thought Freddie (Ladapo) had a great battle with (Ricardo) Santos and really enjoyed it. It gave us a really good platform in that second half to play off him and get the movement going off him, so he was pivotal in that.

Substitutes Sone Aluko and Amadou Bakayoko battle for the ball Picture: Barry Goodwin
Substitutes Sone Aluko and Amadou Bakayoko battle for the ball Picture: Barry Goodwin

"I thought Kayden (Jackson) came on and was a massive threat who could have easily had an assist or a goal for himself.

"So I thought the strikers did well and it is not just about strikers it is about the whole team.

"We had enough chances throughout the team to win the game but I think we will get sharper in those positions as the weeks go on now and we will keep building our fitness."

His skipper Morsy looked odds-on to cap a fine individual performance with a late goal running on to a tasty Wes Burns cross, only to see the legs of Manchester City loanee keeper James Trafford deny him.

Asked if it would be one that would keep the Egyptian international awake tonight, McKenna replied: "Ha, he's pretty tough so I don't think he will waste too much time losing sleep over it.

"I thought his performance was fantastic, I have to say.

"I thought every pre-season game against Premier League teams he was one of the most dominant players on the pitch. And again today I thought there was a lot of good players on the pitch, I thought we had some really good performances but I think the level he is operating at at the moment is extremely high and he was very dominant in a high-level game. And he's just got to keep pushing and pushing now as I know he will do.

"In terms of his goalscoring, if he gets into those positions, as he keeps doing at the minute, he is going to get goals across the season."

Meanwhile, Bolton boss Evatt admitted his side could not live with Town in the second period after an encouraging start and were fortunate to end with a point.

"I think the first 35 minutes we were in control and the set play just wobbled us a little bit," he said.

"We lost a bit of impetus and momentum but our attitude and application was first-class.

"We showed some good resilience second half.

"We know we need to add some more quality. We didn't really have enough control or possession second half and in moments of transition when the spaces were there we just weren't brave enough to execute.

"But credit to them, they're a really good team. They ask you a lot of questions and we're delighted with a point."

Next up for Town is a trip to newly-promoted Forest Green Rovers next Saturday (3pm). Ian Birchnall's side scored a final minute winner at Bristol Rovers to get their campaign off to a winning start.