Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna says the nature and timing of the goals conceded dictated the tone of tonight's 2-0 defeat at West Brom.

Dranell Furlong's glancing header gave the hosts a fifth minute lead, Grady Diangana finished off a rapid counter from an Ipswich corner soon after the restart and the organised Baggies cruised to victory from there.

"Obviously it wasn't our night," said McKenna, whose side remain second in the Championship table.

"I think the nature of the goals and the timing of the goals dictated the whole feel of the performance and the context of the game really.

"It was always going to be a difficult game coming here after an international break on a Saturday night. But to concede on the first corner they get makes it really, really difficult because we know West Brom are good at defending leads.

"In the first half we were pretty comfortable, we were stable in the game, but they are a hard team to create big chances against.

"We changed a few little things at half-time and came out at the start of the second half well. I would have fancied ourselves to push on. We go close with a cross and then they score from our corner. That set the whole context, feel and flow of the second half.

"Credit to the opponent. We have lots of games coming thick and fast. We have to take it tonight and move on to Wednesday (at home to Millwall)."

West Brom move up to fifth in the table having now lost just two of their last 24 games at The Hawthorns.

"I think it's clear to see the quality of their team," said McKenna. "They have physicality, athleticism, Premier League experience, top end Championship experience and they're well-organised too. They're a top, top team for this level.

"As I say, conceding early made it really, really difficult."

For perspective, this was only the third league defeat Ipswich have suffered this calendar year. It's the first time they've not scored in a game since a 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers back on February 14 and the first time they've lost a league game by a two-goal margin since January 2022 (Bolton 0-2).

The Blues are seven points clear of third-place Leeds and 12 ahead of seventh-place Cardiff.

"It was always going to be the case that we'd lose games this season," said McKenna. "It's about moving onto the next one and the response that we produce.

"It's not like need a really big response though. We lost a really tough game away to West Brom. We just get ready for Millwall now.

"Of course we won't ignore the lessons from the game. We'll reflect on it pretty quickly and we'll move onto the next one. It's a 46-game season and you're going to lose some.

"I've got no problem with the players' effort or intent. There were a couple of mistakes for two goals that hurt us. We'll learn from that and move on."

With this the sixth game in a row that Town have conceded an early goal, the Blues boss added: "Of course it's something we analysed and spoke about with the group over the break. For me it's more about how we defended the set play. You're away from home. No matter how you start a game like this they're probably going to get a set play in first 10 minutes and you have to defend it better than what we did. 

"Whether that corner had come in the first minute, fifth minute or 25th minute we had to defend it better than that. On the flip side, from our first corner, we created a pretty good chance for Jack (Taylor) that we didn't take.

"We're aware of it, but we're not obsessing over it. I've been here for two years and this hasn't been an issue for us until quite recently. I actually thought we started with a good energy tonight, I liked the feel of us in the first couple of minutes, but the first corner we had to defend we didn't defend. We'll reflect on that.

"We've been strong on set plays this season. I don't think we'd conceded one, possibly, up until Rotherham. Now we've conceded a set play against Rotherham, an early set play against Swansea and an early set play tonight. It's not like we're being battered at the start of games with chances, we've just got to defend set play moments better."