Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna plays down talk of promotion after beating QPR

Posted Sunday, August 20, 2023 by PA

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna plays down talk of promotion after beating QPR

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna played down talk of a potential second successive promotion for his side following their 1-0 victory at QPR.

The win maintained Town’s 100 per cent record in the Sky Bet Championship this season and stretched their unbeaten league run to 22 matches.

They sit top of the table after three games, inevitably fuelling suggestions that they could seriously challenge for a place in the Premier League.

But McKenna said: “We’ve ignored it. We focus on performances and results.

“There are certainly no deluded heads in that dressing room. We know how hard we’re having to work in every game.

“We’re doing some things well but we know we can still improve. The margins are going our way and we know that if you keep improving and doing the right things then you give yourself a better chance.

“We know how tough the division is – you can see it in every game. Anyone can beat anyone.

“There’s certainly no chance of anyone getting ahead of themselves. The players are happy but they’re tired and know they’re going to have to work just as hard, or harder, against Leeds next week.”

Ipswich rode their luck at times before Conor Chaplin broke the deadlock with 15 minutes remaining, but McKenna felt they deserved their win.

“We stepped up in the second half and I thought we controlled and dominated it apart from isolated moments,” he said.

“In terms of the flow of the game, we were much better and built play well. I thought we were good value for it.”

QPR boss Gareth Ainsworth remains convinced that his side will prove their doubters wrong this season.

Rangers were almost relegated after a terrible run last season, have been touted as favourites for relegation, and have lost two of their first three league matches this term.

But their spirited display encouraged Ainsworth, who said: “I’ve got to look past this result.

“We’re a mile away from where we were last season and it’s so good to see. The boys were brilliant and gave everything.

“I’m gutted we haven’t got anything from it but I’m also hugely happy with the performance.

“Mark my words – and I really hope I’m proved right here – I think we can achieve things.

“I think we’re going to be fine. Write us off at your peril this year.”

Youngster Sinclair Armstrong, leading Rangers’ attack in the absence of injured striker Lyndon Dykes, caused Ipswich major problems before going off in the second half.

QPR were unlucky not to be ahead at half-time after Armstrong’s strike from the left of the penalty area hit the inside of the far post and then the inside of the opposite post.

In the second half, Osman Kakay missed a golden chance for Ainsworth’s side when he contrived to blast wide from close range.

Ainsworth said: “How we haven’t scored I don’t know. Sinclair, who was tremendous, hits both posts and then we miss from a yard out.

“Then I felt we were going to get an equaliser, I really did. It was a different performance to what we’ve seen for a long time here at Loftus Road.

“We had some really good chances today and if we’d put them to bed I think we put Ipswich to bed.”


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