The battle for automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship continues to intensify as Leeds moved into the top-two with a nail-biting win over Middlesbrough on Monday.

Leaders Leicester sit just two points ahead of third-placed Ipswich and the Foxes take on Southampton tonight, where defeat for fourth-placed Saints would all but end their automatic hopes.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the remaining weeks of an increasingly tense Championship run-in.

Leicester (1st, played 43, 91 points, +42 goal difference)

Run-in: Southampton (h), Preston (a), Blackburn (h).

Once seemingly certain to return to the top flight after a single season in the second tier – Enzo Maresca’s side were 17 points clear of Leeds – Leicester have suffered a crisis of confidence just at the wrong time.

A 2-1 home defeat by Middlesbrough on February 17 launched a run of 10 league games culminating in a 1-0 reverse at Plymouth which saw them lose six times and collect just 10 of the 30 points available.

However, a 2-1 victory over play-off chasing West Brom took them back to the top of the table and with two of their last three fixtures at the King Power Stadium, they will hope they can make home advantage count.

Leeds (2nd, played 44, 90 points, +43 goal difference)

Run-in: QPR (a), Southampton (h).

As with Leicester, Leeds have suffered a wobble at the most inopportune moment.

A 2-1 defeat at Coventry on April 6 was their first in the league since the turn of the year and, having seen Sunderland leave Elland Road with a point three days later, Daniel Farke’s men lost on home soil for the first time this season last Saturday when Sammie Szmodics fired Blackburn to victory in West Yorkshire.

But they came out on the right end of a seven-goal thriller in Teesside on Monday, claiming a 4-3 win over Middlesbrough that Farke will hope can be a springboard for their final two fixtures.

Ipswich (3rd, played 43, 89 points, +32 goal difference)

Run-in: Hull (a), Coventry (a), Huddersfield (h).

Ipswich’s unlikely tilt at back-to-back promotions has hit the buffers in recent weeks after a remarkable run of nine wins in 10 Championship outings was brought to an end by derby rivals Norwich.

A 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road on April 6 has been followed by home draws with Watford and Middlesbrough and Town must rediscover the form which earned manager Kieran McKenna the accolade of Championship Manager of the Season on Sunday evening if they are to reach the top flight.

However, all three of their remaining opponents still have something to play for, with Hull and Coventry on the fringes of the play-off race and Huddersfield battling desperately to avoid the drop.

Southampton (played 43, 84 points, +29 goal difference)

Run-in: Leicester (a), Stoke (h), Leeds (a).

Southampton’s bad patch arrived in February, when they lost to Bristol City, Hull and Millwall either side of a 2-0 success at West Brom in the space of 12 days.

A 3-0 win over Preston a week ago was their third in succession but despite taking the lead at Cardiff on Saturday, the Bluebirds claimed a last-gasp victory and Saints are now six points adrift of the top two.

How they fare against Leicester may go a long way to deciding their fate, while a visit to Leeds on the final day of the season promises to be a must-watch.

Ipswich moved a point clear at the top of the Championship after a thrilling 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough at Portman Road.

Town went into the game looking to take advantage after seeing automatic promotion rivals Leicester and Leeds lose to Plymouth and Blackburn respectively.

In a breathless first half the visitors took the lead through a header from Emmanuel Latte Lath but Town struck back 10 minutes later when Massimo Luongo crashed home a corner by Leif Davis.

Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky produced two wonderful saves, firstly from Isaiah Jones and then Matt Clarke, to keep the scores level deep into the second period.

Ipswich were on the front foot from the start but Middlesbrough were carving out their own chances and they got their noses in front after 20 minutes when a cross from Leeds loanee Luke Ayling found Ivorian striker Latte Lath, who headed home.

There were strong shouts for handball after Boro defender Clarke blocked a cross from Axel Tuanzebe but referee Sam Allison ruled it out and awarded a corner from which Town equalised as Luongo came rushing in at the far post and fired the ball home via the underside of the bar.

Town almost immediately took the lead when Jeremy Sarmiento was played through by Conor Chaplin and chipped Seny Dieng as he rushed off his line.

It looked like it was going into the net but it clipped a post. Ali Al-Hamadi tried for the rebound with a back-heel flick but it was blocked.

Boro wasted a great chance to take the lead just before half-time when they countered down the left through Sammy Silvera.

Latte Lath’s first shot was deflected, with a handball shout from the visitors, before the second went out for a corner from which former Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson headed wide.

A dazzling run by Omari Hutchinson saw him leave Middlesbrough defenders in his wake and as he closed in on goal his shot was deflected over the bar by Danish defender Lukas Engel.

As both teams pushed Hladky had to dive to his right to deny Boro substitute Sam Greenwood after Town skipper Sam Morsy lost possession while at the other end Dieng parried away a shot from Hutchinson.

Hladky produced two wonderful saves to keep the game level. First he stopped Jones from point-blank range and then stretched to palm over a header from Clarke as the game drew to a nail-biting close.

Ipswich suffered a serious blow to their hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship when they slid to a 1-0 defeat at local rivals Norwich.

A tense game of few clear-cut chances was settled by 39th free-kick from Marcelino Nunez, who fired home low and hard from over 30 yards.

The win left a below-par Ipswich side hoping for slip-ups from rivals Leicester and Leeds later in the day, while for Norwich it further cemented their place in the top six.

It also maintained their overwhelming supremacy in this fixture in recent times, with Ipswich having failed to clinch an East Anglian derby win since a 3-2 victory at Portman Road way back in 2009.

After a predictably tight start the home side began to take the initiative, winning a series of free-kicks deep in Ipswich territory.

And they made the fourth of them count, with Nunez edging his side in front six minutes before the break after Sam Morsy had shoved Josh Sargent to the ground some 30 yards out in a central position.

A goal looked a long shot, quite literally, but the Chilean comfortably beat Town’s two-man wall with a low curler which eluded Vaclav Hladky’s desperate dive to the left and went in off the post.

Ten minutes earlier Sargent had been brought down by Axel Tuanzebe in a seemingly more dangerous position, after being put in by a delightful Ashley Barnes through ball, but on this occasion Gabriel Sara’s free-kick came to nothing.

Overall the Canaries had the better of a tight opening period, with Ipswich looking nothing like a side challenging for automatc promotion. Their only effort on or off target was Massimo Luongo’s header from a corner which sailed harmlessly over.

Sam McCallum’s long ball from the back almost caught the visitors out in the early stages of the second half, with Borja Sainz’s lob only narrowly off target.

Sargent then went down on the edge of the box under a last-ditch challenge from Morsy, only for referee Matthew Donohue to infuriate the home fans by waving play on.

As the game entered its final quarter Sargent burst through again and cut the ball back for Sainz, only for the Spaniard to guide a first time effort high and wide.

Ipswich were struggling to make any impact in the final third, although Conor Chaplin finally produced an effort worthy of the name on 70 minutes, firing just over after being picked out by Leif Davis’ cross.

Substitute Ali Al-Hamadi was then thwarted by Angus Gunn’s quick reaction as he chased a long ball but Norwich defended well to see out a well deserved derby win.

The Championship continues to head towards one of the most dramatic finishes in its history as the division’s three leading teams show no sign of slowing down.

With the Easter programme completed, Ipswich are a point clear of Leeds in the two automatic promotion spots, with third-placed Leicester a further point back.

The relentless form of the trio raises the prospect of all three finishing with more than 100 points and here, the PA news agency looks at how the race could play out.

Ipswich (First, played 40, points 87)

Run-in: Norwich (a), Watford (h), Middlesbrough (h), Hull (a), Coventry (a), Huddersfield (h).

Two months ago Ipswich looked like they might be wobbling but, under the most intense pressure, they have stood up to the test. Given their incredible form it is easy to forget this is their first season back in the Championship and, when they scored a winner in the seventh minute of added time against Southampton, back-to-back promotions felt closer than ever. One worry boss Kieran McKenna may have is their defence – they have conceded 20 more than Leeds and 16 more than Leicester – and a derby against Norwich next up is clearly a huge game. They will go into it with no fear, though, having lost just five times all season.

Leeds (Second, played 40, points 86)

Run-in: Coventry (a), Sunderland (h), Blackburn (h), Middlesbrough (a), QPR (a), Southampton (h).

Daniel Farke’s men remain unbeaten in the league in 2024 and unbeaten at home all season. A depleted side drew at Watford in the first game back after the international break, before a late show saw them beat Hull 3-1 on Monday. In Crysencio Summerville they have the division’s outstanding player and, with his 17 goals and eight assists supplemented by Dan James’ 20 goal involvements and Georginio Rutter’s 21, they have attacking talents to burn. However, an injury to midfield workhorse Ilia Gruev has exposed some weaknesses, with Farke yet to find a way to replicate the fluidity he brings to Leeds’ midfield. They need him back, with the same going for Wales full-back Connor Roberts and Italy forward Wilfried Gnonto.

Leicester (Third, played 39, points 85)

Run-in: Birmingham (h), Millwall (a), Plymouth (a), West Brom (h), Southampton (h), Preston (a), Blackburn (h).

Monday’s come-from-behind win over Norwich was huge for Leicester. They looked virtually promoted two months ago and were 17 points ahead of Leeds at the turn of the year. However, a 3-1 loss at Elland Road was damaging and came as part of a run of two wins in seven. Victory over the Canaries put them back top, before Ipswich and Leeds retaliated to send them back to third. They have the benefit of a game in hand against Southampton which, with the Saints now looking out of the automatic race, may be less stressful than it could previously have been. Veteran Jamie Vardy continues to provide experience off the bench and that could come to the fore as the fixtures run down.

Ipswich climbed to the top of the Championship table after Conor Chaplin’s 13th goal of the season gave them a 1-0 win at Blackburn.

Buoyed by Leicester’s defeat in the early kick-off, Kieran McKenna’s men flew out of the traps and made their early dominance count through Chaplin’s well-worked goal, though Blackburn’s Aynsley Pears ought to have done better.

But this barely told the story of the game as the struggling hosts, still looking for their first win under John Eustace, were more than a match for their visitors and will feel aggrieved to have had goals in either half contentiously ruled out.

The league’s top-scorer Sammie Szmodics missed a glorious chance 11 minutes from time, but Ipswich dug in admirably to notch their eighth win in nine that sees them hold a one-point advantage over Leeds at the summit.

Ipswich should have had an early penalty when Callum Brittain tugged Nathan Broadhead back but referee Stuart Atwell waved play on.

They hit the front in the ninth minute when Chaplin sprayed the ball out wide for Leif Davis and ran into the box to meet the defender’s low cross before letting fly with a first-time shot that found the bottom corner, but Pears somehow let the ball squirm through him.

The Tractor Boys did not let up and Kieffer Moore put a near-post header over soon after, while Chaplin fashioned a chance with a silky first touch but his left-foot effort was saved.

Rovers thought they had equalised on the half hour when a flowing move ended with Tyrhys Dolan’s cut-back finding Joe Rankin-Costello who slotted home via a deflection but Szmodics was either adjudged to be obstructing the goalkeeper or deemed to be the one who deflected the ball.

Ipswich came out after the break with renewed purpose and Chaplin hammered a shot into the side netting within 20 seconds of the restart before Pears parried his curling effort a minute later.

Blackburn showed signs of life on the hour when Vaclav Hladky parried a cross into the path of Ben Chrisene but Chaplin got a vital touch before he could pull the trigger, and moments later, Szmodics whipped a first-time shot goalwards that Hladky tipped over the bar.

The home fans were incensed again in the 74th minute when Andrew Moran smashed in off the underside of the bar after Hladcky dropped a cross under pressure from Scott Wharton but the referee deemed it a foul from the Rovers defender.

Hladcky made a terrible error and outstanding save in the same move in the 79th minute as his pass six yards out was blocked by Szmodics but the Czech stopper made a miraculous recovery, diving full stretch to tip the shot wide and Ipswich held on.

Kieran McKenna hailed Ipswich’s defensive display after they beat Blackburn 1-0 to climb to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table.

Ipswich stamped their authority on the game early and were ahead in the ninth minute when Conor Chaplin’s first-time strike squirmed through Aynsley Pears.

Rovers were second best in the first half, though Joe Rankin-Costello had a goal disallowed due to Sammie Szmodics being in an offside position – their second ruled out for offside.

Blackburn’s frustrations continued as Andrew Moran’s goal was disallowed for a Scott Wharton foul, and Ipswich dug in to claim a vital win. After their first Ewood win since 1996, McKenna felt his side displayed both sides of their game.

He said: “Fantastic result, you have to enjoy every win you get in the Championship. The performance was mixed. I thought first half we started ever so well, big credit to the way we came out, especially after international duty, we imposed ourselves really well on the game.

“Gave the opposition problems and controlled most of the first half. Blackburn had a counter-threat and they set up to give us problems through the middle of the pitch so we didn’t have it all our way.

“We came out at the start of the second half and done well. As the second half went on, it became tough. We knew there’d be tiredness in the group, and it became a challenging last 30 minutes. We worked really hard, we defended our box really well, blocked crosses, defended set plays well, blocked shots.

“Didn’t control the game as we would have liked but sometimes you have to show that other side and I thought we did that really well.”

Rovers are winless in nine but John Eustace was proud of his side’s effort and disappointed the disallowed goals didn’t count.

He said: “Frustrated but very proud as well. I thought the effort of the group was outstanding. After the week we’ve had with the injuries and bit of sickness in the camp as well, to have possibly four starters out of the XI, I thought the effort was outstanding.

“We’ve gone up against a very good team and played very well and we’re disappointed not to get anything out of the game.

“I thought the referee had a fantastic view of the goal from Joe. Sammie obviously wasn’t in front of the goalkeeper so I thought that was really disappointing we didn’t have that goal.

“I thought Scott’s header was a fair challenge on the goalkeeper and the offside was tight but we’ve shown very good signs, the team are playing very well. It’s important we don’t get too disappointed about the result. We’ve got to brush ourselves off and go again.”

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna said his side’s performance was “outstanding” from the first minute to last in their 6-0 mauling of Sheffield Wednesday.

Omari Hutchinson and substitute Ali Al-Hamadi both struck twice while Nathan Broadhead and Cameron Burgess were also on the scoresheet as the Tractor Boys recorded their biggest win of the season.

The victory also saw Ipswich climb back into second place in the Championship, two points ahead of Leeds who host Millwall on Sunday.

McKenna said: “I thought it was an outstanding performance from pretty well first minute to last minute in all phases of the game. We showed our identity, our style, our culture, the group.”

“It was probably the relentless of it. I think some of the football was outstanding, our pressing against a well set-up team but probably the way we kept going because at 3-0 sometimes the second half can be flat and the game can fizzle out, but we came into today with a real determination to deliver a performance first and foremost, not to think about the scoreline, the points or anything like that.

“I think the mentality to keep going in the way that we did was really very, very good.”

Hutchinson, who McKenna said was “excellent”, opened the floodgates in the 15th minute and strikes from Burgess and Broadhead saw Ipswich firmly in control at half-time.

Hutchinson added a subline fourth soon after the restart before Al-Hamadi netted two late goals to wrap up an emphatic win.

For Wednesday, a second successive defeat – having previously clamed five wins in six – leaves them still deep in trouble near the foot of the table, but it might have been a different story had they made the most of early chances for Anthony Musaba and Djeidi Gassama.

Owls manager Danny Rohl, whose side are two points from safety, wants the defeat against a team that was “on fire” to be a lesson for the Yorkshire outfit

He said: “A big defeat and a bit disappointed.

“When I come to such a place I never go and say I’m scared of any opponent, I always want to try something.

“I think today (showed) why we are in our position and Ipswich are where they are.

“The whole picture from Ipswich today, the facilities, the pitch, the team, I think they chose a big, big direction where Ipswich want to go.

“I think this is good to see and I look at the development of this team here and of this manager who I have a big, big respect for, it’s outstanding.

“For us it’s about learning from this game.

“We come here and it was the reason why I played maybe our best four offensive players in front instead of a back five because I want to be brave, I want to create good, good ball-winning situations, to have good transition moments.

“But I think they (Ipswich) were on fire and really deserved the whole picture today.”

Ipswich swept back into second place in the Sky Bet Championship with an emphatic 6-0 win over relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday.

A brace apiece by Omari Hutchinson and Ali Al-Hamadi helped Town leapfrogged above Leeds ahead of the Yorkshire side’s home match with Millwall on Sunday.

Three first-half goals put Ipswich in complete control at Portman Road with Cameron Burgess and Nathan Broadhead adding to Hutchinson’s 15th-minute opener.

Hutchinson added a sublime fourth goal soon after half-time before substitute Al-Hamadi struck twice late on as the Tractor Boys recorded their biggest win of the season.

The Owls, meanwhile, remain down in 23rd spot and two points adrift of safety after seeing their recent revival dented by successive defeats.

Wednesday had won five of six matches prior to their loss at Leeds last time out and they showed promising signs early on at Ipswich as they created several chances.

However, Anthony Musaba could not make the most of his opportunities while Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky was called upon to turn Djeidi Gassama’s shot round the post, and it was the home who drew first blood.

Wes Burns picked out Hutchinson near to the penalty spot and his fine low shot beat Beadle.

Gassami almost bought the scores level when his snap-shot from just outside the penalty area had Hladky diving across his goal line to push the ball round the post.

Burns limped off with what appeared to be a calf injury in the 36th minute, but the Tractor Boys extended their lead a minute later following a goalmouth scramble from a Leif Davis corner.

Kieffer Moore initially headed the ball onto the crossbar but Australia international Burgess was on hand to hammer home and make it 2-0.

The points were all-but sewn up in first-half stoppage time when Broadhead put the hosts further ahead after meeting substitute Kayden Jackson’s cross inside the six-yard box.

Ipswich picked up where they left off after the break and Hutchinson fired just over before getting his second of the match in the 48th minute after receiving the ball from Broadhead and slamming a shot past Beadle.

The Wednesday keeper had to claw away a long-range effort from Massimo Luongo soon after but he was beaten again in the 80th minute when Al-Hamadi made it 5-0 after Beadle had parried Jeremy Sarmiento’s shot into his path

Hutchinson’s inch-perfect cross in the 90th minute was then converted by Al-Hamadi to wrap up a comprehensive win for promotion-chasing Town.

Kieran McKenna highlighted “erratic” time-keeping in the Championship as Ipswich suffered stoppage-time despair with a 2-1 defeat at Cardiff.

Ipswich appeared to be heading back to second spot after Kieffer Moore’s fine finish against his old club 11 minutes from time.

But Ryan Wintle equalised in the fifth added minute and it got worse for Ipswich as Cardiff claimed a fourth successive win.

With eight minutes of stoppage time added, Callum O’Dowda volleyed home in the 10th extra minute played to leave Ipswich one point behind Leeds – 2-0 winners at Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.

Ipswich boss McKenna said: “I haven’t given any thought to the eight minutes, but it is inconsistent this year. It is erratic.

“There have been some games where I’ve thought there have been lots of stoppages and maybe you get plus-five. Other games there have been much less.

“I wouldn’t be able to guess what it is within a couple of minutes margin when the board is going to go up.

“I can’t say it was wrong today, but it has been inconsistent this season.

“But my focus is on my team and what we can control. We’ve been very good at seeing games out, today we weren’t.”

There was a lengthy stoppage at the start of the second half when Moore and Cardiff centre-back Dimitrios Goutas clashed heads.

Moore continued with his head bandaged and the former Cardiff striker scored his sixth goal since arriving on loan from Bournemouth in January.

Asked if defeat was a costly blow to Ipswich’s promotion bid, McKenna said: “Who knows? We’re not focusing on a promotion race.

“We’re just thinking about ourselves, our journey, the next game. We’re focusing on winning next week, and the next nine.

“If the game finishes after 90 minutes we’d be talking about a really strong away performance. But it doesn’t end there and, in the last 10 minutes, we didn’t do what we needed to.”

Cardiff’s win keeps them in the play-off hunt and provides a further boost before next week’s South Wales derby at Swansea.

“I say the same, we go game by game,” said Cardiff manager Erol Bulut, who confirmed Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey would be available after this month’s international break following a calf issue.

“Maybe this was the best. We have been really prepared and I never felt we were going to lose it.

“When you play well and concede, it’s not good, but how my players started, they finished the game.

“Confidence is very important. When you see a few weeks before, confidence was not good.”

Ipswich failed to reclaim second place in the Championship as Cardiff struck twice in stoppage time for a remarkable 2-1 victory.

Kieffer Moore seemed to have returned to haunt his former club 11 minutes from time and put Ipswich on the brink of collecting three precious points in the Welsh capital.

But Ryan Wintle punished slack marking in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Ipswich failed to deal with Rubin Colwill’s cross and Callum O’Dowda’s knockdown.

But that was not the end of the drama as five minutes later, and with virtually the last kick of the match, Perry Ng hooked the ball towards the far post at a chaotic corner and O’Dowda volleyed home.

The defeat leaves Ipswich a point behind Leeds, who had moved in to second spot after Friday’s win at Sheffield Wednesday and possess superior goal difference than the Tractor Boys.

Cardiff were high on confidence after three successive wins and their lively start reflected that.

David Turnbull’s rasping effort from distance was saved with some discomfort by Vaclav Hladky, and the Ipswich goalkeeper was again needed from the resulting corner to keep the Bluebirds at bay.

The ball fell to Josh Bowler at the far post and Hladaky kept out his volley with an outstretched foot.

Ng seemed certain to convert the rebound with the goal gaping, but his scuffed shot allowed Moore to clear off the line.

Karlan Grant set up Josh Wilson-Esbrand for an opening blocked by Luke Woolfenden’s intervention and Hladaky held on to Bowler’s drive at the second attempt.

Ipswich did not look like a side that had scored in 12 consecutive games, struggling to play through midfield and supply Moore with tempting crosses against his old club.

Moore had managed an early header collected with ease by Ethan Horvath – Ipswich’s solitary on-target effort in the opening period – while the towering target man flicked wide after Wes Burns had raided down the right.

Ipswich began to get a foothold in the contest as half-time approached, but Cardiff went close again as Grant wriggled free just outside the box and fired over.

There was a lengthy pause after the interval as Moore and Dimitrios Goutas clashed heads.

Moore came off worse and was only able to continue after being patched up with a couple of headbands.

Ipswich sent on Omari Hutchinson and Nathan Broadhead, fit again after a two-game injury lay-off, to find some fluency in the final quarter.

Cardiff goalkeeper Ethan Horvath had to react to bat away Hutchinson’s howitzer but he was left helpless after Harness spotted Moore.

Nat Phillips stood off Moore for the first time in the contest and the Wales striker took his opportunity, burying a left-footed shot across Horvath.

But there was a lethal sting in the tail and the late goals from Wintle and O’Dowda ensured Cardiff maintained their late bid for a play-off spot.

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna was delighted his side made it five wins in a row as they moved back up to second in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 win at Plymouth.

A 63rd-minute own goal from Brendan Galloway and Kieffer Moore volley secured the win, while Argyle’s Mickel Miller hit a post and saw Town defender Luke Woolfenden clear his volley off the line.

McKenna said: “To win five in a row, when we have had some tough away games, that consistency is really pleasing.

“It was a really solid performance. Our organisation was good, our discipline was good and we were really competitive.

“We came out on top in more than our fair share of challenges and that gave us a really good foothold in the game in the first half.

“We knew it was going to be difficult. We knew we were going to have to stand up to a really strong home atmosphere and we had to stand up in difficult conditions, weather and pitch-wise.

“We did that really well and that gave us a really good platform at half-time to know we could push on…if we kept doing the right things, kept limiting their threats, we knew the chances would come our way and it was another really good second-half performance.

“We haven’t had too many games like this one. It was quite stop-start.

“We always back our fitness, our style, to some point it was not easy in the first half.

“We really felt confident that it would come good for us in the second half.

“The goal took a really big deflection but we had created chances either side of the goal so we felt a goal was coming.”

Argyle head coach Ian Foster said: “We don’t like losing games of football, especially here at Home Park, and obviously we are just really disappointed with the manner of the goal.

“It’s an unfortunate one for us. The shot was going wayward and it’s just hit Brendan and unfortunately ricocheted into the goal.

“The manner of that type of goal can affect you psychologically.

“It’s been an incredibly tough run of games here and we’ve given it our best shot, two of those teams we have played have shared second place today.

“We’ve tried to have right go – and I think we’ve done that again.

“We have shown that we can bounce back, so hopefully we can do that on Tuesday at Sheffield Wednesday.

“The players have been outstanding, fabulous.

“The first goal has just taken the wind out of our sails a little bit.

“If you look at their record, Ipswich have lost the least amount of games. We managed to stick with them for 63 minutes and then conceded a freak goal.

“If I have one criticism of us we didn’t react positively enough to that goal, and I get it, but you have to bounce back and show a little more resilience and character. But I don’t want to be too critical of the players.

“We can only take control of the next 90 minutes. We go to Sheffield Wednesday with confidence. We know the job in hand and have to go up there and give it our best.

“We haven’t lacked belief in any game, we go into every game trying to win. Today was a disappointing one for us but we won’t get too down about it.

“It’s just about taking it one game at a time. We won’t dwell on it, we just move on and get excited about the next game.”

Ipswich moved back up to second place in the Sky Bet Championship following a 2-0 win at Plymouth.

Kieffer Moore sealed Town’s win after Conor Chaplin’s shot was deflected in by home defender Brendan Galloway in the 63rd minute.

Argyle’s top scorer Morgan Whittaker forced an early save from Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.

The keeper palmed the ball to Darko Gyabi, but the Leeds loanee sent a fierce low drive just wide of the upright from the edge of the box.

Ipswich countered, with target man Moore’s header bringing a 14th-minute save from Argyle goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

Hladky did well to punch away Adam Randell’s inswinging corner as the home side again tried applying pressure on their high-flying visitors.

Omari Hutchinson saw a goal-bound shot blocked after being teed up by impressive midfielder Jeremy Sarmiento.

In the 35th minute, Whittaker’s 25-yard shot was blocked but fell to striker Ryan Hardie on the edge of the box and his rising drive flew just over.

And shortly afterwards Ipswich defender Luke Woolfenden made a brilliant clearance off the line to keep out Mickel Miller’s volley.

The half ended with Ipswich pressing and Leif Davis’s corner from the right needed to be cleared at the near post by a defender’s diving header.

Whittaker tried an audacious chip from 40 yards after spotting Hladky off his line early in the second half, but the ball flew just over.

Moore was again denied by Hazard in the 55th minute as the striker headed goalwards from Davis’s far-post cross from the left.

Hutchinson sent a curling shot just wide of the far upright after 56 minutes with Hazard beaten and then forced a superb diving save from the keeper on the hour.

The ball looped up to Chaplin and his header was helped on – and over the bar – by Moore.

Chaplin benefited from a huge slice of fortune three minutes later as his 18-yard shot deflected off Galloway, completely wrong-footing Hazard, with the ball spinning into the opposite corner of the goal.

Ipswich doubled their lead in the 74th minute as Davis sent over another cross from the right. Cameron Burgess headed the ball on to Chaplin and Moore finished with a half-volley at the far post.

Miller went closest for Plymouth with a 78th-minute shot on the run from outside the box that beat Hladky but smashed off the foot of a post and across the face of goal.

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna described his team’s narrow 4-3 victory over bottom-placed Rotherham as a “bit of a wild game”.

Omari Hutchinson’s effort in the sixth minute of added time after Cafu’s levelling penalty moments earlier left the Tractor Boys behind second-placed Leeds only on goal difference, with Southampton losing to Hull.

Town initially fell behind after just two minutes to Tom Eaves, but responded thanks to a Kieffer Moore strike and Wes Burns’ first-half brace.

Hakeem Odoffin pulled one back for the Millers in the second half before the nail-biting additional time.

McKenna said: “It was a bit of a wild game. Of course it wasn’t a good start and from that moment we never really regained our composure in the game but having said that we have scored four goals at home, we find a way to win the game.

“Every game in the Championship is tough. I knew it was going to be a tough game; the players have found a way to come out on top again and credit to them for that.”

With eight minutes of time added on, McKenna said: “We weren’t managing to keep control of the ball. We were pinned into our box and random things can happen at that point.

“I didn’t think we had that many chances against us and when they got the penalty I thought it was going to be one of those nights but credit to the players they could lie on the floor and give up on the game but we find the spirit to get the ball back, launch another attack and produce another moment of real quality to win the game.”

Rotherham head coach Leam Richardson felt his side deserved a point.

He said: “You saw the good, the bad and the ugly of what we are and why we are in the position we are in.

“I’m disappointed for the players who worked terrifically hard. We started the game very well, we had a crazy 10 minutes. The first goal hurt us, we never really recovered from it, it was like a dazed boxer but the last hour we probably deserved something from the game.

“I don’t think many teams come here and dominate all the stats and score three goals and not win the game so disappointed for the players.”

Substitute Omari Hutchinson struck the winner at the death as Ipswich boosted their Championship automatic-promotion hopes with a 4-3 win over bottom-placed Rotherham.

Hutchinson’s effort in the sixth minute of added time after Cafu’s levelling penalty moments earlier left the Tractor Boys behind second-placed Leeds only on goal difference, with Southampton losing to Hull.

Town initially fell behind after just two minutes through Tom Eaves, but responded thanks to a Keiffer Moore strike and Wes Burns’ first-half brace.

Hakeem Odoffin pulled one back for the Millers in the second half before the nail-biting additional time.

The visitors got off to the perfect start through Eaves.

Ipswich defender Harry Clarke had a chance to clear from Town’s penalty box but Sam Clucas stuck out a foot and toed the ball into the path of the Millers striker who guided his shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.

But Town struck back eight minutes later through Burns.

Sam Morsy swept forward into the Rotherham penalty area and his cross was firmly headed home by the winger.

Ipswich’s dominance after conceding an early goal paid off in the 14th minute when Moore put them in front, notching his fourth goal in five games following his arrival on loan from Bournemouth.

It came from a wonderful run down the right by Burns who swept past Lee Peltier. His pinpoint cross found the unmarked Wales international striker who side-footed home on the run and into the far left corner of the net.

Burns got his second goal to put Town further ahead in the 29th minute.

Conor Chaplin played him in down the right and his initial shot was parried out by Viktor Johansson but fell to raiding full-back Leif Davis whose shot found Burns and he stabbed home from close range.

There was a lengthy delay when Rotherham midfielder Ollie Rathbone crashed into the advertising boards following a challenge with Jeremy Sarmiento and was stretchered off on the medical cart to be replaced by Femi Seriki.

Burns almost completed a hat-trick when he headed narrowly wide of the Rotherham left-hand post but the visitors pulled a goal back through Odoffin.

Hladky failed to punch the ball clear when challenged in the six-yard box and it fell to the Rotherham central defender who coolly slotted the ball into the empty net.

United pressed for an equaliser and Sam Nombe struck the post but they equalised in added on time with a penalty by substitute Cafu, only for Hutchinson to secure the three points with a stunning strike past Johansson to raise the roof of Portman Road.

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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