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Ipswich boss McKenna excited by Premier League challenge

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna is relishing the “fantastic challenge” of playing in the Premier League after his side secured promotion with a 2-0 defeat of Huddersfield this afternoon.

The Tractor Boys required just a point to ensure they finished as runners-up to Championship winners Leicester City and goals from Wes Burns and Omari Hutchinson prompted wild celebrations at Portman Road.

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It is back-back-to-back promotions for Ipswich who will now play Premier League football for the first time since 2002.

McKenna said: “To get so far so quickly, a lot of hard work, everyone together, it’s amazing what you can do.

“They’re incredible [the players]. I’ll speak to them over the next few days, they have been an absolute privilege to work with in my first managerial job.

“What a journey it’s been. I’m not sure it will happen again in the way that we’ve done it.

“I know you can say technically it’s been done before but I’m not sure it’s been done like this in a football club like this.

“We will work really hard over the summer and what a fantastic challenge is ahead.”

It promises to be an intense close season as Ipswich attempt to find a formula to stay in the top flight.

“It’s a massive step up, no doubt about it,” McKenna added. “It’s not something that I want to think about too much today, but I know it’s a humongous step up and every single department of the football club is going to have a massive, massive challenge to be competitive in the Premier League.

“They’re challenges to look forward to, challenges to embrace. I don’t think anybody externally thought that we could get to this point but they are things to think about next week. This weekend is for revelling in what we’ve done so far.”

Pop star Ed Sheeran, who sponsors Ipswich’s shirts, was thrilled to see the club he supports continue their rise through the divisions.

Speaking from Miami while on tour in the US, Sheeran told ESPN: “Living just outside of Ipswich, I’ve seen it go through really difficult times, and I know that being in the Premier League is going to bring, not just real excitement to the football club but also real excitement and joy to the town and lift it up, which is really important.”

The defeat confirmed Huddersfield’s relegation to League One after what has been a miserable season for the West Yorkshire club.

Boss Andre Breitenreiter told BBC Radio Leeds: “We wanted to try and give our best in the game. We played good against the ball in the first half, we showed a compact unit.

“Second half we wanted to be more brave, but you could see they were better in every possession, they were quick and confident.

“I think the mentality and the willingness were okay, and this is what we can expect from our team [in future].

“The owner came over to England so we will have some conversations. I want to reflect on the last few weeks and then we will decide if I am the right person for the project.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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