"I love him... I think he’s absolutely brilliant' - Chaplin on Town boss McKenna

Conor Chaplin celebrates scoring Towns second, to take them into a 2-1 lead against Accrington.

Conor Chaplin celebrates scoring Town's second, to take them into a 2-1 lead against Accrington. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Conor Chaplin believes Ipswich Town can be firmly in the League One promotion race, thanks to their improved form under manager Kieran McKenna. 

Chaplin scored the winner as the Blues came from a goal down to beat Accrington on Saturday, meaning McKenna has now taken nine points from a possible 12 during his four games in charge of the club. 

“We’ve been on a great run since the new boss has been in, winning three in four, and we’ve spoken about what we need to do to get into the play-offs,” Chaplin said. 

“That’s something that we’re looking and, if we keep that form up, it will get us to where we want to be at the end of the season. 

Conor Chaplin celebrates with teammates after scoring Towns second against Accrington

Conor Chaplin celebrates with teammates after scoring Towns second against Accrington - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“The main thing now is to kick on, keeping picking up points and picking up wins. We’ve been in really good form and we’re in a good place.” 

Discussing life under McKenna, the former Barnsley man said: “I love him. I think he’s absolutely brilliant. 

“Training’s brilliant and I think you can see in the way we’re playing at the moment the ideas he has and the way he gets his messages to the players. 

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“I can’t speak highly enough of him. 

“But we have to put it on the pitch and show it with results and wins.” 

Chaplin’s winner against Stanley came thanks to a quick Sam Morsy free-kick and a perfect Janoi Donacien cut-back, with the attacker picking up the perfect position inside the box to lash home his eighth goal of his debut campaign in Blue. 

He said: “I’ve always had goals in my game and every time I go on the pitch I’m disappointed if I don’t score. I had a chance against Wycombe here and hit the post, which I was gutted about. 

“I was pleased with this one. Some quick thinking (from Sam Morsy) and then a good ball from JD. I have a great relationship with him and I love playing with him. 

“He’s intelligent when he gets in those areas, it’s not hit-and-hope, so he looks up and picks players out.” 

Victory over Stanley required Town to battle back after conceding early to Ethan Hamilton, with Wes Burns equalising before Chaplin’s winner secured the points. 

“I don’t think we started particularly well, they were on top and in our half more than we were in theirs in the first 20 minutes, but from then on we controlled the game really well into the second half,” Chaplin said. 

“I thought we were really good, really comfortable in possession and worked well to find the spare men, like we’d been working on all week. 

“We could have been better, in terms of the first half, but we’ve not come from behind to win many times this season so that’s a massive win for us. 

“You have to earn the right to play every week in this league,” he continued. 

“It’s a bit cliché but there is nothing more true than it. You have to be intense, run, battle and win second balls before you can show quality, which I feel like we did in the second half especially. 

“We showed good quality and a lot of grit as well.”