News Live Scores
Manchester United

McKenna leaves Man Utd to become new manager at Ipswich

7:37 pm AEDT 17/12/21
Kieran McKenna Man Utd
The Northern Irishman is taking the reins at a League One club after getting permission to leave his post at Old Trafford

Kieran McKenna has left his role as first-team coach at Manchester United to become the new manager at Ipswich Town.

McKenna kept his job at Old Trafford after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month but GOAL confirmed on Thursday that the 35-year-old coach was looking to leave and had held talks with an ambitious League One side. 

United granted McKenna permission to spread his wings, with everyone at the club accepting it is a great opportunity for the Northern Irishman, and it has now been confirmed that he will succeed John McGreal at Portman Road.

What has been said? 

McKenna has told Ipswich's official website after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract: “I’d like to thank Mark Ashton and the owners for putting their faith in me and Martyn to take the club forward.

"Leaving a club like Manchester United was obviously a difficult decision, but I strongly believe in the opportunity to build something here.

"It feels like the right time, project and Club to make my first step into first-team management.

"For now, the focus for the team has to be on a huge game on Saturday. After that, I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to work."

He added in a farewell statement on United's official website:  "It has been a great honour to work for Manchester United for the last five years. When I arrived as Under-18s lead coach in 2016, I had the privilege to work within a world-leading youth development system, coaching excellent talent in a truly fantastic environment.

"I’ll always be grateful to Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I have learnt so much during the past four years and it was a pleasure to be part of such a dedicated group of staff. I would like to thank Ralf Rangnick, I have really enjoyed the short time I have worked with him and I really appreciate his understanding throughout this process.

"From the start of my coaching career, it has always been my ultimate ambition to move into football management and I now have a fantastic opportunity to do that at Ipswich Town, an amazing club with a fantastic history.

"I want to thank the staff and players that I have worked with over the years and, of course, wish Ralf and this incredible club all the best for the future."

Who are Ralf Rangnick’s assistants? 

McKenna and the rest of the coaching staff kept their jobs following United's sacking of Solskjaer. Michael Carrick, who was also a first-team coach, announced he would be leaving the club following the conclusion of his three games in temporary charge. 

Ralf Rangnick confirmed shortly after his arrival that he would be bringing in his own staff and Chris Armas, whose last job was at Toronto FC, joined as his assistant while Sascha Lense has signed a contract to become the club’s sports psychologist. 

Mike Phelan, goalkeeper coach Richard Hartis and coach Martyn Pert are the only members of Solskjaer’s coaching team to remain at Old Trafford. 

Armas has come in as Rangnick’s assistant and Lense has also arrived as part of the German’s background staff. 

It is understood Rangnick tried to persuade Carrick to stay at the club but the former midfielder had already made up his mind that he was going to leave. 

How long had McKenna been at United? 

McKenna joined United in 2016 as head coach of the U18s and won the Premier League Northern Division title in his second season in charge. 

Jose Mourinho promoted him to the first-team coaching set up in the summer of 2018 and he stayed in that role after the Portuguese was sacked, making up part of Solskjaer’s staff. 

Further reading