Ipswich Town sealed promotion to the Championship with a 6-0 home win against Exeter City this afternoon. Here's what manager Kieran McKenna had to say.

Q: That was a special afternoon for a special football club wasn't it? 

A: Exactly. It's a special day.

Obviously the scenes before the game (when the team coach was greeted by thousands of fans outside the ground) were a massive part of that.

It's a sign of the spirit and the love of this football club in the community. 

Then we had the atmosphere in the stadium and it was, of course, all backed up on the pitch. 

It's a special day, a fantastic season, a huge effort from everyone associated with the club.  

I'm just really proud to be part of giving the club a day like today to enjoy. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town fans welcome the team coach ahead of the 6-0 home win against Exeter City.Ipswich Town fans welcome the team coach ahead of the 6-0 home win against Exeter City. (Image: Steve Waller)

Q: Those scenes outside the ground beforehand, when thousands greeted the team coach, were astonishing weren't they? 

A: It was amazing. I have to say it was way, way beyond what we expected. I've seen a few of those sort of things at big Premier League grounds and for big European games, but I've not seen many like that. 

Seeing peoples' faces - the passion, the enjoyment, the excitement, the passion - it was wonderful scenes. Not many players will have experienced anything like that before in their careers.  

It was a really special moment. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kieran McKenna hails the Ipswich Town fans after promotion to the Championship was secured.Kieran McKenna hails the Ipswich Town fans after promotion to the Championship was secured. (Image: PA Images)

Q: Were you always fully confident the players would be able to focus and deal with the matter in hand?  

A: That was the hope and that was the plan, but it’s not easy. They’re human beings who all care passionately about getting the club where it wants to be. 

With the scenes before the game you’re never quite sure how they are going to react. 

What I did know is that we have a really good leadership group, good characters, we’ve been consistent with our messages and we were really focused on going out and putting on a really good performance and playing in the manner we like and the manner our supporters are proud of. 

Q: Good for the heart rate to be 3-0 up by 20 past three, I imagine? 

A: Yeah, it helped, no doubt about it! It was nice to be able to enjoy the game and the second half. 

I was proud to see that the players kept the standards up, even at five and six-nil up. 

We stuck to the organisation and the details to keep the clean sheet. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kieran McKenna has led Ipswich Town to promotion in his first full season of senior management.Kieran McKenna has led Ipswich Town to promotion in his first full season of senior management. (Image: PA)

Q: What does this mean to you? 

A: It means an awful lot, no doubt about it. 

It’s been an honour to come here as manager. You work very hard in your coaching career to get into positions like this. 

Of course we’re all ambitious and want to achieve things.  

Since I’ve come to this football club I’ve felt the passion of the people and what it means to everyone. 

MORE: Stuart Watson: A promotion party to remember forever - and this is just the start

We knew it was going to take a really, really big effort to get out of this tough division. It’s taken so much work by everyone associated with the club. It’s just great to see that work pay off. 

When you’re the leader of it, or one of the leaders, it’s just great to see the happiness in everyone else. 

It’s about seeing the players and staff celebrating with their families. It’s about seeing my family enjoying it and be proud of the work that they’ve supported me through. It’s about seeing the supporters enjoying a day that they’ve waited a very long time for. And of course it’s about the ownership group being here and able to enjoy it. 

For me the main joy I get is seeing how much enjoyment everyone else is getting from this. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kieran McKenna is given the bumps by his players after promotion to the Championship is secured.Kieran McKenna is given the bumps by his players after promotion to the Championship is secured. (Image: PA Images)

Q: Was it beyond your expectations to do this in your first full year of football management? 

A: No, not beyond our expectations, no.  

The target I laid out was to win the league. 

We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We’d just finished 11th, ninth and 11th. 

It looks routine in the end, because of how today’s finished, but it’s been a very, very difficult task. I’ve said that right the way through. 

I know, and the players know, how much effort that it’s taken to get to this point. 

It’s not exceeded my expectations. We set the bar right up there and we need to keep doing that. 

It’s nice to get promoted, but I think how we’ve done it... 

It’s the level of performances, the consistency of the performances, the style of football we’ve played...  

People said to me you wouldn’t be able to do it this way in League One. So how we’ve done it makes me very proud. 

Q: You must be so proud of this group of players... 

A: They’re a great group of players. Some of them have been here from my first day and we’ve added to the group as we’ve gone on, adding the right characters and people who fit the way we play. 

There’s really good leadership, a good balance of senior leaders and some high potential young players who are growing week-by-week. 

It’s a really good squad and it’s been a joy to work with them. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kieran McKenna celebrates at the final whistle after a 6-0 home win against Exeter City secured promotion to the Championship.Kieran McKenna celebrates at the final whistle after a 6-0 home win against Exeter City secured promotion to the Championship. (Image: PA Images)

Q: This is just the start of something, isn’t it? 

A: Look, the club is very ambitious. I’m very ambitious. I’m sure the players are very ambitious. 

We’ve just put everything into this season and not thought too far ahead. 

Of course in terms of infrastructure we’ve tried to do things that will help us in the long-term, but on the pitch we haven’t thought anything past this season because it’s been so intense and challenging. 

We’ve invested everything and we can enjoy that now and celebrate well. 

But there’s no doubt about it, in the summer we’ll be looking at every which way we can improve the club and keep building this momentum we’ve got. 

Q: What will these celebrations look like then? 

A: I’m not sure! They might tell you different, but I don’t think anyone planned anything because they were so focused on the game. 

I’ve just found out one of the staff put a spare set of clothes in his car. I won’t name him! But he’s getting a bit of stick in there. 

We have to enjoy it. Of course we’ll give the players a couple of days off. We have our internal end of season awards on Tuesday night, which is one we can enjoy. 

Knowing how competitive myself and the staff are, I know come the middle of this week we’re going to start thinking about the next game and trying to finish off in a successful way. 

For now though we have to celebrate a really fine achievement. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town players and staff celebrate promotion following a 6-0 home win against Exeter City.Ipswich Town players and staff celebrate promotion following a 6-0 home win against Exeter City. (Image: PA)

Q: It’s an exciting prospect the Championship next season. Some big clubs in there, the return of the East Anglian derby... 

A: Yeah, it’s exciting, no doubt about it. It’s going to give everyone in the town a big boost.  

This is a club with a fine heritage at the top of English football. It’s been a clear goal to get it back there. You never know how long it’s going to take, but there’s no doubt we want to climb back up that pyramid. 

It will be another big challenge but will be one we’re going to all throw ourselves into. 

Q: Was that emotional for you post-match?

A: Yeah, it was lovely. Seeing my wife and kids and knowing how much they've helped me. Moving the whole family down from Manchester to Ipswich and going all in, which we have done, was big.

It's special to enjoy it with them. It's a wonderful day we'll always remember. We have to cherish it.

No doubt about it though, we'll be looking to create more good memories in the future.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna and chief executive Mark Ashton.Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna and chief executive Mark Ashton. (Image: Steve Waller)

Q: I'll ask you a question I've been asking you for a few weeks now... are you looking at the table?

A: *Laughs*. I've just checked the results. I think the first thing I'd have to say is that it's been a terrific effort from the other teams.

We've had a fantastic season. I think the performance levels have been so high. 

Plymouth are having a fantastic season. The job that Steven (Schumacher) has done and the margins they've come out on top of - and I don't say that in a negative way - is an incredible effort.

I feel a little bit sorry for Darren Moore and Sheffield Wednesday, I have to say. I can very much feel what my emotions would be if I was in their position.

They've got such a strong squad, have delivered a top season, got 93 points with a game to go and they're not going to go up automatically.

In this situation you have empathy with all the other teams. It's been a fantatsic season. The level of play has been really high.

We'll try and finish it off well now.

We know where we are. We're on 97 points and 99 goals. I think anyone who can do arithmetic will know what we're going to try and finish it off with. 

Q: It would be nice to finish this with the title, wouldn't it...

A: Honestly, it's not a focus at the moment. At the moment it doesn't feel very important. It feels like what's very important has been achieved.

But I know what I'm like, I know what the staff are like and I know what the players are like. I think once we get into the meat of next weekend and we start preparing for Fleetwood we'll want to deliver another professional performance.

Q: Whatever you go on to achieve in your managerial career, this is going to be a day you'll always look back on fondly isn't it? This is where it hopefully all starts for you.

A: It will always be a special day. It doesn't feel like a start for me. I know people disassociate management from coaching, but for me this started many, many years ago.

This is another step of something that I've worked really hard for.

I've worked at Champions League level, who know where I'll go in the future. 

This is a really special day. Coming to Ipswich Town, a club with such history and tradition, and trying to help it get out of this league was a really difficult task.

I know how hard it's been. When you finish with a 6-0 it kind of looks routine, but it's not been routine. It doesn't come easy.

You see so many big football clubs fall further and further down the ladder.

This is certainly an achievement I'm going to look back on with great pride.

I also know that, come Monday, I'll be thinking about the future and how I can keep improving and pushing the football club.