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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna happy with first week of pre-season training ahead of Needham Market friendly



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Kieran McKenna has been pleased with the 'positive energy' his Ipswich Town players have shown since returning for pre-season training.

The Tractor Boys reported to Playford Road on Monday and have spent the week building up their fitness ahead of tomorrow's friendly at local non-league side Needham Market (1pm), which is a sell out.

And boss McKenna, whose Ipswich side are joint favourites with the bookmakers to win the EFL League One title in 2022/23, is happy with how the last few days have panned out.

Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC

He told the club's website: "The players have worked really hard and I think they’ve enjoyed the work as well. It’s been really good and I’ve really enjoyed it.

"Everyone has come back in a good condition and there has been a good atmosphere. There’s a positive energy about the group. I think they are really driven about achieving something this year.

"We’ve got a good base of work in already. We’re getting towards the end of the week now and I think the lads are looking forward to pulling the kit on and getting their first few minutes on Saturday.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna at pre-season training. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna at pre-season training. Picture: ITFC

"It will be a nice game for us and a nice game for Needham Market. We’re seeing it very much as an extension of our training week. We’re looking at two 30 minute halves and for each of the players that have trained with us this week to play 30 minutes.

"That will be an initial taster for them of wearing the new kit and stepping onto a match pitch, but they know that the serious business is yet to come."

New additions Freddie Ladapo, Dom Ball, Greg Leigh and Tyreece John-Jules have all featured in training this week.

And McKenna is delighted to have got some of his transfer business done so early in the window.

He added: "The club has worked very hard. It's been a busy summer for everyone but I'm really pleased.

"Tying some big first-team players up to new deals early in the window was really important. Securing the future of some of our young players who we think highly of and who we think have a big part to play in the years to come was a positive for them and for us.

"Beyond that, we’ve tried to add some key ingredients to the squad and we’ve managed to do that nice and early, which gives us a strong squad right at the start of pre-season.

"The new boys are fitting in and functioning really well. We’re really happy with what we have in the door at the moment.

Conor Chaplin taking part in pre-season training at Ipswich Town. Picture: ITFC
Conor Chaplin taking part in pre-season training at Ipswich Town. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town returned to pre-season training this week. Picture: ITFC

"Everyone has come back with a hunger in their eyes as they know it’s a big season for the group. The new players coming in will be a big part of that as well."