'It doesn't look great' - McKenna on Harness injury following Pompey defeat
IPSWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna during the Sky Bet League One between Ipswich Town and Lincoln City at Portman Road on October 15, 2022 in Ipswich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Kieran McKenna says that a knee injury sustained to Marcus Harness is the biggest negative of the evening as Ipswich Town were beaten 2-0 at home to Portsmouth in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Harness limped off in the first half and his injury adds to an already growing list of casualties in the Ipswich camp, with Tyreece John-Jules and Sone Aluko both absent in his position alone.

The Ipswich manager said that an initial inspection does not look promising for the former Pompey man, as the Tractor Boys head into another cup match this weekend against Buxton.

McKenna on Harness

McKenna said: “I think that's the negative of the night, there's no doubt about that. To be honest with the situation at the moment, going through would have been a game that we could do without in between the Wycombe and Peterborough games.

“So having that week as a clear week is probably beneficial for us, being completely truthful about it at the moment. And the big disappointment of the day is Marcus's injury.

“It doesn't look great on first viewing, and it will be a scan tomorrow to see the severity of the damage.

“It was a knee, yeah. The disappointment and the worst thing certainly about the night is Marcus and we'll keep our fingers crossed.”

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Conor Chaplin, Leif Davis and Janoi Donacien were all absent from the matchday squad, but McKenna confirmed that was a precautionary measure and the trio should be good to go for the upcoming matches.

“Conor, Leif and JD are fine,” he said. “They had little niggles from the weekend that we didn't want to risk, again with where we're at the moment. They’re fine and should be fine for Sunday's game.”

McKenna on the late penalty claim

The Northern Irishman thanked the fans for their support and believed they were denied a late penalty for a challenge on Wes Burns in stoppage time, before Zak Swanson scored the second goal for Portsmouth.

He said: “We’re really grateful for the fans who came out and give us the support. They’re still there and cheering at the end. We should have had a blatant penalty at the end and they should have had the excitement of a penalty shootout, so it's a shame they didn't get it.

“I can’t fault one bit of the effort of the players again on the pitch and it wasn't to be. We dust ourselves down and get as many bodies fresh and ready for Sunday as we can.”

McKenna looking ahead

McKenna said the injuries sustained in recent weeks meant some of his squad were involved where otherwise he may have wanted to avoid doing so.

The former Manchester United assistant says that is something his team have had to deal with and pondered whether exiting the competition may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as Ipswich mount a promotion push in League One.

He said: “I’m really proud of the two midfielders, I thought Samy [Morsy] and Cam [Humphreys] were fantastic in there. I really wouldn't want either of them playing the game in an ideal world, but that's not where we are at the moment. I thought they were both fantastic.

“I thought Kane [Vincent-Young] and Greg [Leigh] coming in and both wide areas were both very good and great for Greg and again, not ideal for him to play 60 minutes at the moment, but that was he felt and what the medical team felt he could do so credit to him and he performed very well.

“Zanda [Siziba] and Albie [Armin] as well coming into the team, Zanda’s not trained with us too often and wouldn’t have expected to get such an early shout, but he came on and acquitted himself well and it was good to see him when he came on.”

He added: “We take the positives on an individual level as a team. It's not high on our list of goals this year, with where we're at with the squad at the moment we move on to our main targets.”

Following FA Cup action on Sunday, Ipswich will host Fleetwood Town next Friday.