Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna says his players know that those who finish the game on the pitch are just as important as the ones who start matches.

The Blues have surprised the Championship with a brilliant season following promotion from League One, and are battling with Premier League parachute-payment-packing trio Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton for automatic promotion.

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One of the keys of their success has been their lung-busting intensity and effort, plus the impact of substitutes.

Seventeen of Town's 71 goals this season (24%) have been scored by subs and, with another busy run of weekend/midweek matches coming up, McKenna says everyone in the squad will be needed once more.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ali Al-Hamadi is the latest Town sub to score this season, after bagging at MillwallAli Al-Hamadi is the latest Town sub to score this season, after bagging at Millwall (Image: PA Images)
“We’re utilising the squad every week, that can’t be missed out on," he stressed. "The impact that the subs are having, and also the way that we’ve dominated a good chunk of the game before they come on.

"The players who are starting are constantly reminded and are aware that they need to operate at a level that isn’t 90-minute football – they need to put all that effort and energy into 60 or 70 minutes, and that’s one way that we’ll be able to be competitive.

“They know that more often than not they’ll end up swapping out for someone who’s going to come on and bring a really big level of intensity to the game as well."

He continued: “So we’re utilising the squad every single week.

"The players are fully aware that those who finish the games are as important as those who start the games, and that’s usually where the results are being decided most weeks.

“So we’ll continue to do that, and that might mean, of course, the need to freshen up the starting eleven over the next few weeks as well.”