Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has no concerns over new signing Tyreeq Bakinson
Manager Kieran McKenna has stressed that he played a leading role in the decision to bring Tyreeq Bakinson to Ipswich Town.
The midfielder joined the Tractor Boys on loan for the remainder of the season yesterday from Championship outfit Bristol City.
It was a signing some had speculated may have been driven by Ipswich's CEO Mark Ashton, who knows the player well from his time working within the corridors at Ashton Gate.
However, while McKenna has sought advice from those that know the 23-year-old, it was a signing he was equally keen to finalise.
"Anyone who comes in the building, it's going to be my final decision on it," he told reporters.
"It wasn't that the wheels were in motion on the Tyreeq one, but obviously he's very well known to the club and to our recruitment team and to different people throughout the club.
"I've seen Tyreeq play as well, but they were able to fill in more detail on him as a player and a person, knowing him off the pitch.
"He's someone who the club liked, who the recruitment team liked and has really good relationships with people at the club. But also someone I like and fits the profile that I've spoke to the club about."
Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson provided a less than glowing reference of Bakinson upon confirming his departure at a press conference yesterday afternoon.
He said: "As far as I'm concerned, and I've said it before, if players don't want to be here they can go. I'm not bothered. He's a player who unfortunately just wants to play on his own terms. It's not something I particularly want so he can go.
"I'm not wasting energy on negativity, I don't invest time on that, I'm not just saying it. If you ask people who work with me they'll say exactly the same thing, I don't waste energy on negativity, it drives me mad.
"If people aren't in the side, I want them to work hard to get there and I want people who are in the side to work hard to stay there. I don't want people that when the going gets tough, they want to go somewhere else, I'm not interested.
"The fact that I am prepared to say, 'yeah, let the deal go ahead' because actually, people around the place who sap the energy out of other people is not as valuable as having people here who want to be playing."
However, McKenna has received nothing but positive feedback, saying: "Obviously I can't speak too much about what's happened at Bristol or what Nigel's relationship was with Tyreeq. I can only go off what I know and the people I've spoken to.
"There is a lot of staff here that have worked with him, from not just in the first team at Bristol City but when he was in the academy at Bristol City. They speak very highly about him as a person – good family, good upbringing.
"He wants to work and wants to learn so I've had enough good references to be very comfortable on that side of it. I've met him this morning and that only confirms that in terms of my impression of him."
Supporters heading to Portman Road tomorrow for the League One clash with Accrington Stanley will not get to see the new addition in action though.
McKenna, who will be hoping his side can bounce back from defeat to Bolton Wanderers last time out, believes he will best be served by watching the encounter.
"Not likely this weekend. He's only just travelled up yesterday evening and only just met the players today for the first time," he said.
"We'd like him to be able to watch the game tomorrow, get familiar a bit more with the boys and his surroundings, get another couple of training sessions under his belt and he'll come into our plans after that."
And providing that the loan deal is a success, McKenna is more than open to the prospect of turning the move into a permanent one.
He added: "There is that option there and that is something that we're keen on as a club where possible.
"As I've said all along we want to get the short term right and be as strong as we can for the rest of the season, but we've also got an eye on the longer term.
"We want players that come here if possible to fit into that vision and Tyreeq is one of those who has got that capability to do so.
"Obviously it's up to him to go and show what he can do on the pitch and in training. It's got to be the right fit for us as well as a club.
"It's nice to have him here for the rest of the season, but also nice to have the option and capability to be part of our plans going forward if it's the right move."
Meanwhile, McKenna also confirmed that two midfield players could soon leave the club on loan.