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Ipswich Town boss hails ‘fantastic’ fans ahead of potential promotion-clincher against Huddersfield Town at Portman Road

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has hailed the Blues’ ‘fantastic’ supporters who he knows will be right behind his side as the club look achieve a return to the Premier League tomorrow.

The Blues, who sit second in the Sky Bet Championship table, know that a point against all-but-relegated Huddersfield Town (12.30pm) will spark historic and unforgettable scenes at Portman Road.

A call has been made to ‘turn Ipswich blue’ for this weekend’s decisive clash, which could see Town achieve back-to-back promotions, and with a sold-out ground awaiting McKenna’s men, an electric atmosphere is sure to descend upon Portman Road before kick-off.

Ipswich Town are one point away from the Premier League. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ipswich Town are one point away from the Premier League. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“They’ll be fantastic, I’ve got no doubt about that,” said the Town boss.

“I know they’ll be right behind us. Of course, there’ll be an extra-special atmosphere around on top of the incredible home support we’ve had over the last couple of years.

“Tomorrow there’ll be a full stadium, there’ll be people outside the stadium, they’re all going to be 100 per cent behind us and trying to help push us to help us produce the performance that will get us what we want.

Kieran McKenna is full of praise for Ipswich Town fans. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kieran McKenna is full of praise for Ipswich Town fans. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“We’ll enjoy that. We’ll try and use that to get us more energy to put into the performance so they know we’ll get a real boost,

“We know the supporters can make it really difficult for the opposition teams coming to Portman Road, and we know they will play their part and that will help us.

“Other than that, it will be about us executing as well as we can when the whistle blows to do our jobs to the highest level possible for 90-plus minutes.”

What the 37-year-old has achieved with Town so far is nothing short of remarkable. Turning round a club that was on its knees, in need of some stability, and now his squad are one point away from rubbing shoulders with the elites of English football once again.

“It’s exciting to be part of this project, to be leading the project and we want to continue that,” he said.

“We want to keep helping these players go to another level, we want to keep giving the supporters things to be proud of and days, moments and seasons to enjoy.

“We hope to continue to do that after tomorrow. Whatever happens tomorrow, whatever happens to the end of the season, there’s no end point for Ipswich Town Football Club.

“It’s another step on the journey, there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes, there’s ambition from the owners to keep developing the football club and that’s what everyone wants to keep doing.

“We hope to take a really big step in that tomorrow but we know there’s lots of things still ahead to achieve.”

McKenna came through the doors of Portman Road in December 2021 and he was asked in his pre-match press conference this afternoon whether the club feels similar to when he first joined.

“It does, and I think in a nice way to be honest,” he said.

“A football club is primarily the people and you come in here today and there’s the large majority of the same staff that were here two-and-a-half years ago.

“Staff that have been here for years, decades, some fantastic people working at the football club, a fantastic community spirit around the club, not just the training ground but at the stadium and in the town.

“That was in place already of course, bringing all that together, giving them a team to get behind and to be proud of and setting and establishing some things in the environment that would make us elite has been the process over the last couple of years.

“The strong passion and love for the football club from the people you encounter here, that’s been fostered over the last two-and-a-half years.”