EFL

Kieran McKenna says Ipswich pay no attention to results of promotion rivals

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Kieran McKenna insisted weekend wins for Leeds and Southampton had “zero impact” on Ipswich after a 2-1 success at Swansea maintained their push for an automatic promotion place in the Sky Bet Championship.

First-half goals from Nathan Broadhead and Conor Chaplin – his 50th for Ipswich – proved enough to beat hosts Swansea, who are now only four points above the relegation zone.

It was Ipswich’s second away win the space of four days and came after second-placed Leeds had won their lunchtime appointment at Plymouth and Southampton had beaten West Brom on Friday.

“I know (those wins) had zero impact on me, that’s the honest truth,” said Ipswich boss McKenna, whose side are a point behind Southampton and three adrift of Leeds with a game in hand.

“Sometimes you worry things like that will infiltrate the group and they will worry about other teams’ results.

“I don’t get any sense of that from the group whatsoever. They share my feeling that they are doing incredibly to be as competitive as we have been at this level.”

Ipswich, promoted as League One runners-up last season, have lost only four times in the Championship and led after 13 minutes through Broadhead’s 11th goal of the campaign.

Chaplin restored the lead soon after Jerry Yates’ first-half equaliser and Ipswich showed resilience to hold Swansea’s improved showing after the break at bay.

McKenna said: “I really enjoyed it. It was a tough game, a proper game and took a really good performance to come out on the right side of it.

“I thought we showed the best bits of ourselves at different stages of the game.

“We played some really brave football in tough conditions and our organisation to limit them to opportunities in free play was good.

“It was an excellent performance, those are the margins we’re going to have keep fighting at to keep coming out on top at this level.”

Swansea’s defeat was their fifth in seven league games under Luke Williams, who was appointed in January following Michael Duff’s dismissal the previous month.

Williams said: “We worked really hard to get back in the game after giving the goal away.

“Then OK let’s stand in the middle of the pitch and cross our fingers. That’s not a tactic.

“We have to improve, we have to play every second of the game.”

On Swansea’s slump that has left them looking nervously over their shoulder, Williams added: “We’ve played Southampton, Bournemouth (FA Cup), Leicester in a row. That was very difficult.

“Take out Leeds (when Swansea lost 4-0) and in the other games we have been very competitive. We need to win the games when we have a really good chance.”

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