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Kieran McKenna hails Ipswich defence in win at Blackburn

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Mar 2024

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Kieran McKenna hailed Ipswich’s defensive display after they beat Blackburn 1-0 to keep their automatic promotion hopes on track.

Ipswich stamped their authority on the game early and were ahead in the ninth minute when Conor Chaplin’s first-time strike squirmed through Aynsley Pears.

Rovers were second best in the first half, though Joe Rankin-Costello had a goal disallowed due to Sammie Szmodics being in an offside position – their second ruled out for offside.

Blackburn’s frustrations continued as Andrew Moran’s goal was disallowed for a Scott Wharton foul, and Ipswich dug in to claim a vital win. After their first Ewood win since 1996, McKenna felt his side displayed both sides of their game.

He said: “Fantastic result, you have to enjoy every win you get in the Championship. The performance was mixed. I thought first half we started ever so well, big credit to the way we came out, especially after international duty, we imposed ourselves really well on the game.

“Gave the opposition problems and controlled most of the first half. Blackburn had a counter-threat and they set up to give us problems through the middle of the pitch so we didn’t have it all our way.

“We came out at the start of the second half and done well. As the second half went on, it became tough. We knew there’d be tiredness in the group, and it became a challenging last 30 minutes. We worked really hard, we defended our box really well, blocked crosses, defended set plays well, blocked shots.

“Didn’t control the game as we would have liked but sometimes you have to show that other side and I thought we did that really well.”

Rovers are winless in nine but John Eustace was proud of his side’s effort and disappointed the disallowed goals didn’t count.

He said: “Frustrated but very proud as well. I thought the effort of the group was outstanding. After the week we’ve had with the injuries and bit of sickness in the camp as well, to have possibly four starters out of the XI, I thought the effort was outstanding.

“We’ve gone up against a very good team and played very well and we’re disappointed not to get anything out of the game.

“I thought the referee had a fantastic view of the goal from Joe. Sammie obviously wasn’t in front of the goalkeeper so I thought that was really disappointing we didn’t have that goal.

“I thought Scott’s header was a fair challenge on the goalkeeper and the offside was tight but we’ve shown very good signs, the team are playing very well. It’s important we don’t get too disappointed about the result. We’ve got to brush ourselves off and go again.”

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