Ipswich Town drew their second successive game in a row at home to promotion-chasing Sunderland on Saturday.
It was an entertaining game in front of packed Portman Road as newly appointed Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna looked on from the crowd prior to taking charge on Monday.
James Norwood put the home side in front in first-half stoppage time when Macauley Bonne’s low cross looped up off a defender for the former Tranmere striker to head home.
It was a deserved lead for the Tractor Boys before Nathan Broadhead then equalised five minutes into the second half.
The positive performance will have pleased the onlooking McKenna as he prepares to take training for his team on Monday.
It’s something to build on for the new boss and here we take a look at three things we learnt from the draw with Sunderland.
The squad has plenty of quality
It goes without saying that Ipswich probably boasts the best squad in the division. It was a summer of heavy recruitment for the Suffolk side in which they added 19 new players.
They have largely underwhelmed so far but this game shows that they can compete with any team in the division.
They came up against one of the form sides in the division in Sunderland and not only competed with them, but were probably the better side.
That comes down to the quality in the squad and will no doubt please new manager Keiran McKenna.
James Norwood has a future at Portman Road
The forward has struggled to impress since his arrival on a free transfer but he now has two goals in his last two games showing he can be an asset in this squad.
His predatory instinct to get on the end of Macauley Bonne’s cross will be much needed for the remainder of the season.
He’s a reliable goalscorer that shouldn’t be undervalued in a squad that has struggled for regular goalscorers this season.
They can still be a force this season
Ipswich currently sit ten points off the top six and 16 off the top two. It would be a mammoth task to reach for the automatics, but why not aim high?
A new manager coming in will refresh this very talented squad, giving them the belief they need to compete at the right end of the table.
If they are to mount a promotion push, whether that’s automatics or playoffs, McKenna has to get off to a good start in their next game against Gillingham on Boxing Day.