'Nice to send fans off feeling positive' - McKenna on 4-0 Charlton win
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna was pleased that his side finished the season on a high by thrashing Charlton Athletic 4-0 at Portman Road.
Tyreeq Bakinson, Wes Burns (2) and James Norwood all netted as the Blues ran riot in front of a crowd of 26,002.
"It was the day that we wanted to give the supporters - I think they deserved that," said McKenna, his side ultimately finishing 11th in League One.
"The way they've got behind the club this season, both home and away, has been outstanding.
"We knew it was going to be a big turn out today and we had a responsibility to send them off into the summer with positive feelings. It's pleasing we've managed to do that."
The Northern Irishman continued: "It was a very good performance, but it probably wasn't too dissimilar to the performances against Wigan (2-2), or Plymouth (1-0), or Portsmouth (0-0), or Cheltenham (0-0) at home. We've had lots of games where we've hit close to those levels.
"I do think we are getting better, but we've had lots of really good performances. The difference is today we get the first goal and that just opens the game up a little bit, gives Charlton more incentive to come out and try and attack us and that's something we enjoy.
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"We've been speaking for a while that we think we're close to scoring a few goals, but it's one thing speaking about it and another doing it. It's pleasing we managed to come over that hurdle.
"We scored two second half against Wigan, having knocked the door down for the first 45 and not scored, and we've scored four today. That's hopefully a good sign for the development of the team."
Norwood, who announced he was being released by the club this summer last night, stepped off the bench late on and scored from an acute angle.
"I'm delighted for him," said McKenna. "I have to say in my time at the club I've really enjoyed working with him. I think he's been excellent in the dressing room, excellent in training, very good and supportive of the younger players and we've had a good time with him.
"It's a nice way for him to finish it. I think he spoke well in the statement he put out yesterday. He's had three years, he's give it his best and a good account of himself. We wish him all the best.
"He's capable of getting goals for sure, we're fully aware of that. His minutes per goal this season has been good. It's up to us now to make sure he doesn't score against us if our paths cross."
Tom Carroll, Kayden Jackson, Tyreece Simpson, Myles Kenlock, Tomas Holy, Bailey Clements and Brett McGavin are the other senior players coming to the end of their deals.
"The club will make the announcements in due course," said McKenna. "I've been speaking to the players all week and the large majority have a good idea of where they're at and their goals, targets and plans for next season. We've just got a few to finish off tomorrow."
Burns' brace meant that he finished the season's as Town's top scorer with 13, one ahead of Macauley Bonne. With Burns sat alongside McKenna at the post-match press conference, the aforementioned was pointed out to the Blues boss.
"Did you?" he said, turning to Burns and smiling. "Is that why you didn't pass to Macauley? I'm only joking!
"He's had a very productive season in terms of his goals and assists. I've really enjoyed getting to know Wes better and the career he's had to this point. He's an example to people that they can come to this football club, improve, thrive in the environment and enjoy the pressure and the atmosphere.
"Whether you are 19, 27 or even 33. We want players to come here, enjoy, improve and thrive. Wes has managed to do that this year. He knows now that next year is a really big year for him. Coming and having one good season is one thing, but to push on again and repeat that and go up a level is another. That's certainly the challenge for him now. I'm sure he's going to look to do that, starting in pre-season."
When it was put to McKenna that the challenge must now be to make sure that days like this happen more consistently next season, he replied: "We spoke about that in the dressing room after the game. We certainly aren't getting carried away with ourselves after a good display on the last day of the season. We know we've put in some really good performances. We know that, at our best, some of our football is a real match for anyone in this league or, I would dare say, in the leagues higher.
"But we also know the reality for this team and the football club is we've had three seasons now in League One a long way off the play-off positions. There's reasons for that. There are things to reflect on and look at as a football club. We need to make sure that we have enjoyable days like today, where we play very well and win games, but also that we're more robust and effective at winning games over a 46-game season in a very, very difficult and demanding league.
"I think we're all really clear on that. It's not going to be easy, but we're going to try and make good steps in the right direction this summer."