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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna felt side deserved more than a draw in East Anglian derby with Norwich City

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna felt the Blues were the better team by a considerable margin during this afternoon’s 2-2 home draw with local rivals Norwich City in the Sky Bet Championship.

Nathan Broadhead gave Town the lead before Jonathan Rowe gave the Canaries a surprise lead with goals either side of the break, prior to Wes Burns levelling for the Blues, who continue to wait for a derby win.

“I thought it was a great occasion in terms of the build-up and the supporters did the club proud in terms of the atmosphere they created,” McKenna said.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna applauds the home fans Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna applauds the home fans Picture: Barry Goodwin

“I thought it was a really good performance, I thought we were the better team by a considerable margin, created lots and lots of chances, gave away very few chances and there were lots of things we can build on from the performance.

“Of course, the frustration is conceding two goals from hopeful balls which ricocheted around our box, but beyond that, there are so many positives we can take from the performance.

“Of course, only a point but we would have loved to have given the supporters a victory but I think the team in blue can certainly take a lot from that game.”

Nathan Broadhead celebrates scoring the opening goal Picture: Barry Goodwin
Nathan Broadhead celebrates scoring the opening goal Picture: Barry Goodwin

Prior to Broadhead’s opening goal, the Wales international had spurned two opportunities, while fellow countryman Burns had similarly failed to take another.

Asked whether the missed opportunities were a major thing for him to reflect on, McKenna reflected: “No, I understand it. We’ve been so clinical at home and I think that’s a 3-0 performance in the first half, if I’m honest, and we go in 1-1.

“Our forwards have been so clinical for such a period of time, so it can happen, especially in a game which means that little bit extra as well.

“On the other hand, we were here and we scored five goals in the first half against Exeter (end of last season), not to go back there, but these boys have shown they can be clinical in big games.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky collects the ball in front of Adam Idah Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ipswich Town goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky collects the ball in front of Adam Idah Picture: Barry Goodwin

“That doesn’t concern me. I know on another day, if we play that game 10 times over we win it a lot more than [we don’t].

“That doesn’t concern me, the goals we gave away were a disappointment, no doubt about it, two moments of concentration in our penalty box and a little bit of fortune on both, which can happen.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened today and Norwich were clinical in those two situations really.”

Did McKenna feel the occasion perhaps got to the players? “No! In what guise, the chances they missed? Maybe, we’re talking about players who have been really, really clinical and we’ve missed a couple of chances.

“Is that because you’re a tiny little bit more tense in that situation than you would have been? It’s possible.

There were passionate scenes as Ipswich Town fans greeted their team bus arriving at the stadium Picture: Barry Goodwin
There were passionate scenes as Ipswich Town fans greeted their team bus arriving at the stadium Picture: Barry Goodwin

“But I think in the general performance, I know it was built up that we were favourites for the game, but Norwich are a really good team with really attacking principles, one of the best attacking teams in the league. (They) Have scored the third-most goals, usually create much more chances than today and our general level of play was really good.

“I understand in terms of the chances missed, that’s unlike us, but on the other hand the composure we showed in a lot of aspects of our general performance, I was really pleased with.”

Quizzed on whether he believed the game would open up and suit his side more having gone in front, McKenna said: “I thought the game suited us most of the game. I thought whenever they pressed us, we were able to find the solutions most of the time and break through, whenever they sat in I thought we were a threat.

“Maybe in the last 20 minutes we didn’t create as much as we would have liked and they defended their box well. They’ve got a big centre-half [Shane Duffy], who can defend the ball well on crosses, and they defended the box well, but I thought it was comfortable in all game states.

“They had a few moments in the second half when they built well down their left-hand side, but other than that I thought we controlled almost every situation, apart from two balls into the box, which weren’t quite as clean and as switched on as we need to be to defend that situation.

“But I didn’t think the goals changed the course of the game, first goal, second goal. My view was that we were in control for the whole game.”

Regarding the coach welcome in which thousands of fans with banners and flares greeted the team when they arrived at the ground, McKenna said: “It was brilliant. It’s so appreciated, fantastic memories.

“As I said beforehand, it wasn’t going to win us the game, it wasn’t going to lose us the game because I knew the players weren’t going to get overawed by that sort of thing.

“I think it strengthens the bond going forward. A day like today where you see what the club is capable of, you see the atmosphere that was created before the game, you see the following, you see the interest in the town because the team is doing well and we’re playing in a derby.

“The vocal support that the players got, the performance that was delivered under big pressure against a team, who 18 months ago were operating in the Premier League and for that team’s supporters to be celebrating a draw and we’re 21 points clear, I don’t need to emphasise it too much, there’s lots of positivity to take from today as a football club.

“The day’s done now, both teams take the point and we try and build on it. We’ve got big games coming up, we’ve got tough games coming up but I think today’s a day we’re a club from everything I saw that represented themselves well and made the progress that we’re making.”

Asked whether he might have preferred not to have had the welcome, McKenna said: “No, 100 per cent absolutely not. I don’t think it had any impact, certainly from a negative points of view and I thought it was a lovely bonding moment for everyone in the football club.”

McKenna was asked about an incident in which a beer can and other objects were thrown at Norwich majority shareholder Delia Smith’s car as it followed the Town coach through the crowds.

“I haven’t heard about that, somebody mentioned there was an incident,” he said. “I can’t comment on that.”