Ipswich confirm Manchester United’s Kieran McKenna as new manager

Ipswich confirm Manchester United’s Kieran McKenna as new manager

Ipswich have appointed Kieran McKenna, the Manchester United first-team coach, as their manager on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The League One club have been looking to replace Paul Cook since his sacking on 4 December and settled on the highly rated McKenna, a 35-year-old who was a member of United’s coaching staff under José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. He was kept on to work alongside Ralf Rangnick after Solskjær’s departure but has decamped to Portman Road after being offered the chance to take a first managerial role.

“Leaving a club like Manchester United was obviously a difficult decision, but I strongly believe in the opportunity to build something here,” McKenna said. “It feels like the right time, project and club to make my first step into first-team management.”

McKenna is the first appointment made by Ipswich’s owner, Gamechanger 20, which took over in April and put sizeable resources into assembling a squad that was expected to win promotion from League One. It has not worked out that way and they sit 12th, also losing to the League Two side Barrow in an FA Cup second-round replay on Wednesday night. McKenna’s first task will be to bridge a nine-point gap to the play-offs although he will be viewed as a longer-term recruit, potentially occupying a position more akin to head coach.

McKenna, under-18 coach at Tottenham before joining United in a similar role five years ago and quickly ascending to the first-team setup, will be assisted by another current coach from Old Trafford, Martyn Pert.