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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna knows the challenges his side will face at Cambridge United in Sky Bet League One this weekend

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna insists he will not be taking relegation-threatened Cambridge United lightly this weekend.

The two sides are battling at opposite ends of Sky Bet League One, with third-placed Ipswich vying for the automatic promotion spots, while hosts Cambridge, who sit second from bottom in the table, have slipped into the relegation zone in the last few weeks.

Ahead of Town's trip to the Abbey Stadium on Saturday (3pm), McKenna says he is wary of the challenges that the U's will provide as they look for the points needed to pull away from the bottom four.

Kieran McKenna applauds the Ipswich Town fans after their Emirates FA Cup 0-0 draw with Burnley last weekend Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kieran McKenna applauds the Ipswich Town fans after their Emirates FA Cup 0-0 draw with Burnley last weekend Picture: Barry Goodwin

"We're coming into the business time of the season," the Ipswich boss said.

"Every game is important and every game is going to be labelled as a must win.

"That's the feeling within the camp when in reality we know it's a game we have to focus on the performance and focus on doing the right things to give ourselves the best chance.

"It's another big game. It's one we're looking forward to. Every game is so different and the challenges are so unique.

"We know that when Ipswich are coming to anyone's stadium it's a massive game for the club that we're facing and it's a big game for the team that we're facing.

"They're going to try and make it as difficult for us as possible.

"They brought some players in during the window as well. They've recruited to their back line and they looked much more solid last weekend against Lincoln (0-0 draw).

"We know that they're not going to roll over for us. It's going to be a big challenge, but we've got enough experience in this league now.

"We've got a good idea what those challenges will be and we need to be ready for that on Saturday."

With 18 games left to play in their League One campaign, McKenna's side are currently four points adrift of second-placed Sheffield Wednesday, who have a game in hand, and seven points behind the leaders Plymouth Argyle.

Ipswich will have the chance to close that gap on at least one of those sides this weekend, as Wednesday host Plymouth in a clash between the top two at Hillsborough.

The Tractor Boys will be backed by another large away following at Cambridge, with close to 1,500 fans making the trip and around the same number of supporters heading to Portman Road for a live beamback of the game.

"The support has been fantastic," McKenna said. "There's a lot of positivity around and we know that the games are important.

"We're in a crucial phase of the season, but we know that the supporters are right behind us.

"That gives us a big push and it gives the players a big push. We're not just doing it for ourselves. There's a big, big motivation to do it for the supporters."