McKenna on Ipswich's promotion chase: 'Anything can happen on final day'

Kieran McKenna does not expect “smooth sailing” on the final day of the Championship season after Ipswich moved a step closer to a Premier League return following victory at Coventry.

Kieffer Moore’s early goal was cancelled out by Haji Wright’s second-half equaliser for the Sky Blues, but Cameron Burgess fired the visitors back ahead minutes later to put Town on the brink of promotion.

The victory means that a draw against all-but-relegated Huddersfield will secure Ipswich’s return to the top flight for the first time since 2002.

Ipswich could become just the fourth team to be promoted consecutively from the third division to the Premier League since 1992 after Watford, rivals Norwich and Southampton.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry and Ipswich Town.

McKenna said: “I’ve got belief in them and a lot of belief in what we’ve done, the consistency that we’ve shown, how we prepare for games, how we concentrate throughout games and how we get our identity out there on the pitch gives us a great chance to win games.

“I’ve got a lot of belief but it’s a football match, two teams in the same division, one who were in a lower division the season before.

“Anything can happen, I don’t expect it to be smooth sailing. There’s going to be tension in the game for sure as there is when you’re fighting for things but it’ll be about doing enough of the right things to help us keep on top of that.”

‘We had show a range of qualities to seal victory’

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Massimo Luongo and Kieffer Moore reflected on a challenging game against Coventry as they step closer to Premier League promotion.

Burgess’ winner in the 69th minute took Ipswich three points clear of third-placed Leeds, who host Southampton on Saturday.

McKenna added: “It’s fair to say it was an up-and-down game. We had spells where we played really well and were a big threat, spells where we defended well and spells where we invited too much pressure on ourselves.

“We probably got caught up in the state of the game, holding on to a lead and probably holding on to an outcome.

“We showed great resilience. I thought we had the chances to win the game, we had the chances to kill the game off, we had the better chances, we should have had a penalty as well.

“It was really hard-fought playing against a good team with not too much pressure, and we had to show a great range of qualities to get a win that was really sweet.”

Robins’ praise for McKenna and Ipswich

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Haji Wright fires in the equaliser against Ipswich.

Meanwhile, Coventry manager Mark Robins was quick to praise the achievements of McKenna and Ipswich as his Sky Blues side suffered their fourth defeat in five league outings.

He said: “Rubbish result, performance was OK. It was a little bit flat at times. We attacked pretty well against a really good side.

“But first of all, congratulations to them because they are almost there; the prize is almost there for them.

“From our perspective, we gave away a really soft goal whilst we were trying to build into the game, and that’s really been the story of our season – we concede too many goals, quite a few goals. We’re on the back foot and give ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We have to address that because you can’t win things if you’re conceding too many goals.”

What’s next for Coventry and Ipswich?

Both teams finish the regular Sky Bet Championship season at 12.30pm on Saturday May 4.

Coventry host QPR at the Coventry Building Society Arena, while Ipswich face Huddersfield at Portman Road.

Championship final day fixtures live on Sky announced

Sky Sports will show crucial promotion and relegation games on the final day of the Championship.

Leicester have already been crowned champions, but automatic promotion and relegation places are still to be decided.

Championship matches live on Sky:

Here are the fixtures currently confirmed to be shown live on Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Football Red Button and the Sky Sports app

Saturday May 4:

  • Ipswich vs Huddersfield, 12.30pm – Live on Sky Sports & Sky Sports App
  • Leeds vs Southampton, 12.30pm – Live on Sky Sports & Sky Sports App
  • Birmingham City vs Norwich, 12.30pm – Live on Sky Sports & Sky Sports App

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