IPSWICH TOWN boss Kieran McKenna has banned players from watching Sky Sports News in the canteen – as he aims to reach Premier League status.
After five games Ipswich, who have been outside the Premier League for more than two decades, are now second in the league.
The former Manchester United coach always dreamed to be a manager by the time he was 35 as he revealed to the Telegraph in an exclusive interview.
He said: “Why 35? I mapped that out. Mentally in my head that was retirement age as a player. I might have played until I was 35, 36.”
In December 2021 the former Tottenham star was appointed manager of Ipswich- he was 35 and seven months.
The Suffolk side were failing to escape the mid-table of League One during this time.
But McKenna won promotion back to the Championship in his debut campaign.
The Blues boss hints the squad’s success is because of his unusual method of banning Sky Sports News – the training ground staple – on the televisions in the canteen.
Instead, there is footage of that day’s training session, always filmed by a drone or highlights from a recent match.
According to the Ipswich manager, this allows players to glance up and see their work and its consequences.
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McKenna added: “My principles are really, really strong and I don’t think I will ever go away from them.
“I believe in trying to play football a certain way. It’s not just about playing out from the back or pressing high. I want my team to be excellent in all aspects.”
“This is a progressive club and I know that I want to manage at the highest level of the game.
“I want to be back to that level – back to the Premier League and manage in the Champions League.”
McKenna began his footballing career as a youth player for Northern Irish side Enniskillen Town before making his way to Tottenham.
He was on the verge of being Spurs’ first team but moved into coaching at 22 after a long-term hip injury curtailed his playing career.
This inspired him to pursue his coaching career and in 2016 McKenna was poached by fan club Man Utd to be the U18 coach.