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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna ‘really pleased’ to have stuck with Suffolk club and is relishing Premier League challenge with Blues





Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna says his job in Suffolk is far from done yet and revealed he would be keen to re-sign this year’s loanees for the Blues’ Premier League campaign.

McKenna, 37, was mentioned in connection with the Crystal Palace job earlier in the season while more recently West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion have both been linked to the former Manchester United coach who off the back of a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town has now delivered back-to-back promotions with the Blues.

Asked about potential interest from other clubs and whether his job at Town isn’t done for him yet, Northern Irishman McKenna said: “No, I love it here, it’s a fantastic club, I’m so proud to be the manager of this football club and I’ve worked so hard at it every day, so I give so much of myself and [so have] the people around me for the last couple of years. I’m just so focused on enjoying that journey.

Ipswch Town manager Kieran McKenna is loving life at Portman Road, having now delivered back-to-back promotions Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ipswch Town manager Kieran McKenna is loving life at Portman Road, having now delivered back-to-back promotions Picture: Barry Goodwin

“That sort of speculation’s been there for the last two years, to be honest, and I’ve shown loyalty to the club through that and I’m really pleased that I’ve stuck with it and achieved what we’ve achieved. There’s some big and exciting steps to come for the football club.”

Loanees Omari Hutchinson, Jeremy Sarmiento and Kieffer Moore have all played important roles this season.

Hutchinson, who netted the 11th goal of his loan spell in this afternoon’s match, has already said he wasn’t ruling out a loan return to Portman Road next season, while Sarmiento’s spell from Brighton is understood to include a provision to be extended into next season.

“For sure, it’s a special group,” McKenna said when asked if he’d been keen to keep the loan players at the club next season.

“We’ve had success with that last year, keeping the group together, bringing in someone like George [Hirst] on loan and the way he’s escalated.

“Of course, we’ll look at all possibilities, we’ll build a squad as strong as we can but the players we’ve had in on loan this year have been an absolute credit to themselves and have been a really big part of the group.”

Reflecting on how it will feel going to his former clubs Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur next season, he added: “They’re going to be really proud moments on my personal journey and the supporters have 19 incredible away games to enjoy.

“They’ve got a summer to enjoy now. We’ll deal with next season when it comes, but I hope everyone enjoys it and we embrace the big, big challenge it’s going to be.

“To give a new generation of Ipswich fans those experiences, that’s something we all have to be so proud of and let’s enjoy these challenges when they come.”

Read what else McKenna said in his post-match press conference here.