Ipswich Town column: Martin Lambert says Kieran McKenna's analytical approach is showing promising early signs following victory at AFC Wimbledon
Bold and Brave on Burns Night. That’s what Kieran McKenna in the 2-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon last night.
At the start of the evening, there wasn’t an Ipswich Town fan alive who thought they would see Kayden Jackson start up front ahead of Macauley Bonne (rested) and Joe Pigott (unfancied). But at 7pm we all found at that Jackson was doing just that.
Jackson and Norwood up top? Is this 2019 Paul Lambert-ball? It had fans questioning why McKenna would make this eyebrow-raising selection.
Was this the first mistake from the young rookie manager just cutting his teeth?
Or was this finally a manager who seemingly looked at the reports, viewed what opposition couldn’t handle, and came up with a game plan armed to beat them with? AS opposed to the more traditional this is who we are mantra through hell or high water? Sound familiar?
Well, for 60 minutes it looked in all honesty like the only people McKenna had succeeded in outsmarting with a left-field team selection was himself.
The team huffed and puffed and in fact should have been a goal down had it not been for a last-minute clearance.
Mick Mills went as far to mention Paul Lambert’s team when discussing the style of play.
Even as one of Lambert’s last defenders we all know any time you are mentioned with Lambert’s team it’s never normally a good thing.
However, on 68 come the the hour come the man, and it had to be Wes Burns on Burns night of all nights to rescue McKenna’s blushes.
A move that started with Jackson and finished with a tidy finish by arguably Town’s best summer signing in a long time.
Maybe, just maybe, McKenna’s switch-up had paid dividends.
Maybe, just maybe McKenna and Martyn Pert’s analytical approach is the perfect tonic to lift Town out of the doldrums.
Brave and aggressive selections from a young manager just cutting his teeth.
Imagine what he may be like when he has found his ‘feet' in management.
Up next is Sheffield Wednesday. A tough away day with a fierce crowd.
But following two wins from two and now only five points from the play-offs we simply must travel north without fear and take the game once again to them.
Nine from nine and our play-off push is off intensive care and moving to a ward.