Ipswich Town latest: Kieran McKenna’s “tension” claim amid Leeds and Southampton tussle, Rotherham win and disappointing promotion prediction | OneFootball

Ipswich Town latest: Kieran McKenna’s “tension” claim amid Leeds and Southampton tussle, Rotherham win and disappointing promotion prediction | OneFootball

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Football League World

·21 February 2024

Ipswich Town latest: Kieran McKenna’s “tension” claim amid Leeds and Southampton tussle, Rotherham win and disappointing promotion prediction

Article image:Ipswich Town latest: Kieran McKenna’s “tension” claim amid Leeds and Southampton tussle, Rotherham win and disappointing promotion prediction

It was a successful night for Ipswich Town in the Championship as the Tractor Boys snatched a late 4-3 win over Rotherham United, whilst promotion rivals Southampton fell to a surprise home defeat.

The win over the Millers meant that Ipswich made it three wins on the bounce, and are now four games unbeaten, helping to keep them back in the mix for automatic promotion.


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It looked as if Ipswich may have blown their chances of an unlikely automatic promotion after a poor run of form in the new year, but three wins on the bounce against Millwall, Swansea and Rotherham, coupled with Southampton losing two of the last three, has given Kieran McKenna's side real hope.

Ipswich are back in action on Saturday as they welcome Birmingham City to Portman Road. This is another game that McKenna will expect his side to pick up all three points from, and another win here is crucial if they're to keep the pressure up on Leeds United in second.

Ipswich's supporters felt every single emotion possible on Tuesday night during the club's game with Rotherham United.

However, they would have left Portman Road feeling relieved and happy, after seeing their club pick up a last-gasp 4-3 victory after throwing away a 3-1 lead.

It was a disastrous start for the Tractor Boys, and they were 1-0 down after just two minutes thanks to a goal from Tom Eaves, but they hit back with first-half goals from Kieffer Moore and a Wes Burns double, giving them a comfortable 3-1 lead at half-time against the league's basement boys.

However, Hakeem Odoffin pulled one back from the Millers on the hour mark, before disaster struck and Rotherham levelled in the fourth minute of added time thanks to a penalty from Cafú.

But in the fifth minute of added time, Omari Hutchinson spared Ipswich's blushes with a last-gasp goal, keeping the Tractor Boys in the automatic promotion race.

Kieran McKenna's Rotherham United reaction

Article image:Ipswich Town latest: Kieran McKenna’s “tension” claim amid Leeds and Southampton tussle, Rotherham win and disappointing promotion prediction

After the clash at Portman Road, Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna told the East Anglian Daily Times, "It was a bit of a wild game, wasn't it?

"Of course it wasn't a good start, we conceded a really poor goal with individual errors, and I think you'd probably say from that moment we never really regained our composure from a defensive point of view.

"We weren't ever able to get the control we wanted to get in the game. Having said that, we've scored four goals at home, could have had more, and found a way to win."

It was Ipswich's third game in six days, with trips to Millwall and Swansea prior to Tuesday night's game. Playing away in South Wales just three days before a midweek game was hardly ideal preparation for McKenna's side and that could have been why they let Rotherham back into the game.

"Wednesday-Saturday-Tuesday is tough. There were two tough away games in there, the second of which was on a very, very muddy pitch," said McKenna.

"There was definitely a tiredness element to the second half, especially when the flow of the game goes the way it does. We didn't play well, but I can't fault the effort and we found a way in difficult circumstances.

"There are 13 games left and one of the big messages coming into tonight was we need to keep tension out of the stadium and out of the performance. We knew people were coming expecting us to win and that creates a different type of atmosphere."

Gary McAllister believes Ipswich will miss out on promotion

Article image:Ipswich Town latest: Kieran McKenna’s “tension” claim amid Leeds and Southampton tussle, Rotherham win and disappointing promotion prediction

Former Leeds and Leicester player Gary McAllister believes that Ipswich will miss out on promotion to the Premier League this season.

Speaking via Betway, the former Aston Villa assistant has tipped the three relegated clubs from the Premier League to make an immediate return to the top-flight of English football, meaning that Kieran McKenna's side would miss out.

He said, "I think the three relegated teams will go back up. Ipswich have done brilliantly to keep going and it will be great if they can secure a play-off spot, but Southampton and Leeds are just going to have enough for one of them to go up automatically with the other via the play-offs.

"I've watched Leeds quite a few times this season and they can score goals from all areas of the pitch. I am impressed with Glen Kamara, who came down from Rangers, and [Ethan] Ampadu in the middle of the park has done well. [Crysencio] Summerville and [Patrick] Bamford are playing really well, and Championship defences can’t handle them.

"Whether they can keep clean sheets is another question. But I think Leeds have just got enough to finish second and get the automatic because the fans don't like play-offs!"

Given McAllister's links with Leeds, perhaps it's no surprise that he's tipping his former side to win promotion. With Ipswich level on points with the Whites, everyone at the club will be looking to prove him wrong and win a remarkable second consecutive promotion.

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