Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has said nobody in the club is under any illusions of the scale of the task in getting Ipswich Town back into the Championship next season.
The Tractor Boys were relegated from the second tier in 2018/19 but have yet to make a return.
The club fell well short of promotion this season, too, finishing 11th in League One. McKenna says that is not where the club aim to be.
“That’s obviously not where we want to be, but that’s the reality of the situation,” McKenna said via the East Anglian Daily Times.
“The club has been in League One now for three seasons. It’s been an 11th place finish, a ninth place finish and this season it’s 11th again.
“I’m sure when Ipswich came down to this league they wanted to get back out of it at the first attempt, but they weren’t able to do that.
“I think everybody has learned more about the division over that time. In my few months here I’ve learnt more about the division.
“Nobody at the club is under any illusions about the scale of the task we have ahead.”
Ipswich finished the season poorly in League One, winning just one of their last five matches in the division, which came on the final day against Charlton Athletic.
Quiz: Have any of these 25 past or present Ipswich Town players ever played non-league football in England?
McKenna says that the size of the club gives them no entitlement to victories at this level and that it is with good decision making and building strategically that the club will achieve their ambitions.
“Just because we have a great history, a great fanbase and a great support it gives us absolutely no divine right to win football matches in this division.” McKenna continued.
“There are a lot of big clubs in this division, clubs who have been in the Premier League and Championship more recently than us and for a lot more years than us.
“The fantastic support and heritage that we have at the club doesn’t give us any more right than them to get out of the league this year or next year.
“It’s only by making good decisions day-by-day, following a plan, building strategically and cleverly, that we’ll give ourselves a good chance to win more matches than the club have done in any season so far in League One and make steps in the direction we want to go in.”
Kieran McKenna looked to have Ipswich heading in the right direction at one stage and had many at the club believing a play-off finish was possible.
That wasn’t to be the case though, with their form tailing off at the back end of the campaign.
Nevertheless, going forwards the club are in good hands, and with a full pre-season and a summer transfer window to make dealings, you would expect McKenna to have Ipswich in or around the top six come the end of the next campaign.
At the very least, they will be looking to improve upon this season’s league finish of 11th.