Tuesday, July 23, 2024

McKenna relishes ´amazing start´ with Ipswich to face Liverpool and Man City

SoccerNews in English Premier League 18 Jun 2024

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Kieran McKenna is relishing the prospect of Ipswich Town starting life in the Premier League with matches against Liverpool and Manchester City.

Ipswich are back in the top flight after a 22-year absence, having won consecutive promotions from League One and the Championship under McKenna.

The Premier League fixtures for 2024-25 were announced on Tuesday, with Ipswich discovering they will start their campaign at home to Arne Slot’s Liverpool on Saturday August 17.

Ipswich then play away to champions Man City, the winners of four straight league titles, on Matchday 2.

Despite being handed a daunting start on paper, McKenna cannot wait to get going.

“It is a fantastic start,” he said to Sky Sports. “Everyone is going to be so excited, two of the biggest clubs in world football with a home start against Liverpool – it brings it all to life and it is an amazing start for us.

“We are delighted to have a home game first. We know the atmosphere that has been created over the last few years at this stadium and we know it will carry on, even more so this year.

“It’s great to have a home start and to have one of the best teams in the league is for sure a big challenge.

“Of course, they have a new manager, but we are not going to underestimate the scale of the challenges we are going to have all season.

“Certainly, Liverpool will be [a big challenge] on the first day but at the same time the atmosphere is going to be fantastic. The players will be as ready as they possibly can be and it is a game we will really look forward to.”

Ipswich’s success led to McKenna being linked with major jobs at the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United in the aftermath of his team’s promotion.

McKenna ultimately signed a new four-year contract to remain with Ipswich and is now determined to look forward.

“When you have had the success we have had over the last couple of years then there is going to be interest,” said McKenna, who was previously assistant manager at Man Utd.

“Those are private decisions. In everyone’s career, you have to weigh things up and see what’s right for you and your family, and things like that. That’s a natural process.

“There’s always a professional decision to make but there’s also always the personal decision to make.

“I’m so, so happy to have secured my future here at Ipswich. It’s the first year in 22 years back in the Premier League. We’re one of the first teams to get a double promotion back to the Premier League in a very long time and I wanted to be part of that.

“It’s going to be an amazing season for the football club and I’m just so excited that I’m going to be the one leading the team out through those fixtures, and we’ll work really hard to continue the journey we’ve been on.

“Of course those sorts of things happen naturally whenever clubs or players or staff members have success, but everyone is now just looking forward to the season ahead and the challenges we have.

“The club took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity at 35-years-old and we’ve had a fantastic couple of years together. It is a wonderful football club that I’m so proud to manage.

“I know we are going to give a really good account of ourselves.”

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