Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna says he always knew there was going to be a spell in the season where the wins dried up.

The Blues have slipped from first to fourth in the Championship table after claiming just one league victory from nine league games, a tough set of winter fixtures including Leicester (twice), Leeds, West Brom, Sunderland, Norwich and Preston.

Now Town now go into a run of nine fixtures against teams all currently in the bottom-half, Wednesday night's game at Millwall followed by matches against Swansea (a), Rotherham (h), Birmingham (h), Plymouth (a), Bristol City (h), Cardiff (a), Sheffield Wednesday (h) and Blackburn (a).

“We knew, going into the season, there were going to be spells where we didn't win as many games," said McKenna. "I think you're always going to have different phases in seasons.

“Not that we need any reassurance, but of course last season we had a similar phase (two league wins in 10) at a similar time of year (Dec 17-Feb 14) with some similarities in terms of players missing through the winter period."

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January signings Harry Clarke, Massimo Luongo, Nathan Broadhead and George Hirst reignited Town's promotion push around this time last year, 13 wins from the final 15 games securing second-spot in League One with 98 points.

The hope now is that recent recruits Lewis Travis, Jeremy Sarmiento, Ali Al-Hamadi and Kieffer Moore can have a similar impact in yet another high quality top-two race.

“Once again, we find ourselves in a period of getting players healthy again and trying to integrate new signings into the team, which doesn't happen overnight," said McKenna, who feels his side have played better than recent results suggest.

“That's why we're pretty consistent in terms of sticking to the day-to-day work, doing the right things with the right attitude and just look forward to taking each game as it comes. That's what we did last year and what we're continuing to do this year.”



Dec 17: L 1-0 Wycombe (a) v Dec 16: D 2-2 Norwich (h) 

N/A v Dec 23: L 4-0 Leeds (a) 

Dec 26: W 3-0 Oxford Utd (h) v Dec 26: D 1-1 Leicester (h)

Dec 29: D 2-2 Portsmouth (a) v Dec 29: D 0-0 QPR (h)

Jan 2: D 1-1 Lincoln (a) v Jan 1: D 0-0 Stoke (a)

Jan 14: D 1-1 Plymouth (h) v Jan 13: W 2-1 Sunderland (h)

Jan 21: L 2-1 Oxford Utd (a) v Jan 22: D 1-1 Leicester (a)

Jan 24: W 4-0 Morecambe (h) v N/A

Feb 4: D 1-1 Cambridge Utd (a) v Feb 3: L 3-2 Preston (a)

Feb 11: D 2-2 Sheff W (h) v D 2-2 West Brom (h)

Feb 14: D 0-0 Bristol R (a) v ?? Millwall (a)

Winter 2022/23: W2 D6 L2 Pts 12/30

Winter 2023/24: W1 D6 L2 Pts 9/27