James Norwood has been one of the standout players at Ipswich Town since Kieran McKenna arrived at Portman Road.
The 30-year-old made just two appearances in League One under Paul Cook as the Tractor Boys religiously stuck to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
McKenna has tinkered with his systems but has continued to deploy a front pairing, with Norwood jumping ahead of Joe Pigott in the pecking order to build a relationship with Macauley Bonne at the top of the pitch.
McKenna explained the positive impact that Norwood has had and his future plans for the striker when he spoke to the East Anglian Daily Times.
He said: “He’s been important in terms of goals and important in terms of performances and effort, while his attitude on the pitch has been infectious.
“He’s also been a good influence around the group in the time I’ve been here. He’s been training hard, has had his head down and is supporting his team-mates.
“I see him as an important part of the team at the moment.”
It is a credit to Norwood and his professionalism that he has been able to keep himself in such good shape to hit the ground running when granted the first team opportunities.
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Many would have thought that Pigott was next in line for a run in the team but Norwood must have impressed the new manager very early on at training and demonstrated why he should be a regular starter.
Four goals in as many games has justified McKenna’s selection superbly and has many believing that the play-offs are achievable this season.
The Tractor Boys have given themselves a lot of work to do after a very slow start to the season saw the 19 new summer signings take some time to gel.
After 25 games the gap to the top six is eight points, steep but with the firepower at McKenna’s disposal, with Norwood at the forefront of it, it would take a brave person to write them off.
It will be interesting to see how the Norwood and Bonne partnership develops in the coming months.