Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has stressed that he isn’t feeling frustrated after today’s 1-1 draw against in-form Middlesbrough, highlighting how proud he is of the performance.

The Blues knew they could take a healthy lead on the chasing pack after Leicester City and Leeds United were beaten by Plymouth Argyle and Blackburn Rovers respectively, but Emmanuel Latte Lath’s first-half header put a spanner in the works.

Massimo Luongo responded from a corner on the half-hour mark, and while Town looked the stronger of the two sides in the latter stages, they were unable to put Michael Carrick’s men to the sword, taking a point at Portman Road.

“Frustration isn’t my feeling at the moment,” McKenna said after the game. “Maybe it will be tomorrow, but at the moment, it’s pride around the performance.

“I thought it was a brilliant game. I thought the performance was excellent against a good side, and I was really proud of how we went around our business.

“I thought we played brave, we played confident. Tactically it was a really good battle, we created plenty of chances to win the game and I thought it was a really good performance.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Town boss was wary of Boro's threat heading into the gameThe Town boss was wary of Boro's threat heading into the game (Image: Ross Halls)

“Over the course of the last two games, could we have had an extra couple of points? For sure. Could we have lost today? Vas produces a great save right at the end, so possibly.

“The players have given everything, and what’s more pleasing for me is the performance. At the end of the season, we’ll get however many points we’ll get. I don’t think they’re going to leave an ounce of effort there.

“I really liked how we went about our business, and at the end of the day, we pick up a point from a really good performance. We’ve got a little bit of recovery now, then we can look forward to the last week and three great games.”

This was always going to be a real test. Boro were unbeaten in eight games heading into their trip to Suffolk, having shown a real resurgence to get back into the play-off picture.

Those expecting an easy three points in IP1 were in for a shock, although McKenna was pleased by how his players handled the challenge.

“It was a really difficult game,” he explained. “To play Watford as game four of 12 days and then Middlesbrough as game five in the last 15 days, and we’ve had important people missing from the squad for different reasons as well.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Blues had to come from behind after Emmanuel Latte Lath's openerThe Blues had to come from behind after Emmanuel Latte Lath's opener (Image: Stephen Waller)

“To perform like that, and for a good chunk of Wednesday’s game too, is testament to the group.

“Middlesbrough are a very, very good side, they’ve shown that very often. I don’t think many teams will have given them as hard a game as today. Of course they had a threat, but I don’t think Michael will have set them up to play on the transition and for their counterattacks to be their biggest threat.

“Today it was, partly because of our play, but because of the quality and the pace they have as well.

“I thought it was a really good game. I’m proud that we managed to dominate large spells of it. Of course, they had their large spells in moments as well. I thought we saw two really good teams.”

Luongo’s goal delighted McKenna. He was aware that his side hadn’t capitalised from set-piece situations enough in the last few weeks, so it was a big focus heading into the final games of the season.

Leif Davis’ delivery was spot on, allowing him to register his 17th assist of the season and set up his team-mate for a crucial equaliser.

“It was very good, very important,” McKenna admitted. “Credit to the boys for the execution and to the staff for that one at this stage of the season.

East Anglian Daily Times: Massimo Luongo scored the Blues' first goal since April 1stMassimo Luongo scored the Blues' first goal since April 1st (Image: Stephen Waller)

“We spoke about it during the week, we need to score a set play or two over the next few games. You’re not going to win games at this stage of the season without scoring set plays.

“We haven’t scored one for a few games, so it’s great that one came off. Conor [Chaplin] had a big chance earlier in the game as well.

“Set pieces can gain or lose you points at this stage of the season, and you can look at it as the set plays winning us an important point.”

Town now head into a strange period of two weeks without a game. Leicester and Leeds will both be in action twice before the Blues next kick a ball, meaning that the spotlight will swing to their promotion rivals.

Asked whether it’ll have an impact on the top-two race, McKenna was quick to look at his own team.

“I don’t know, I can’t get into their psychology,” he explained. “We’re coming from such a different place. If you asked me who’s under more pressure, I’m pretty sure that everyone would agree it’s not us.

“We’re coming from how this group has performed. 89 points at this stage of the season, the highest number ever of a newly-promoted League One team. I’m not sure if anyone in the history of the EFL has ever got 90 points two seasons in a row and we’re one point away from doing it.

East Anglian Daily Times: Vaclav Hladky's stunning save preserved a point for IpswichVaclav Hladky's stunning save preserved a point for Ipswich (Image: Pagepix)

“I don’t feel any pressure, I don’t think the boys do. I don’t think that’s anything to do with why we’ve drawn today, I think it was a really good game in isolation.

“I can’t speak for them. I can imagine that their mindset and environment at the moment is possibly a little bit different than ours. Today I’ve seen a group of players really enjoying their football, and I know supporters will get a little bit more anxious about these things, but I thought they were terrific today as well.

“Most supporters will go home today with a terrific game of football that they’ve seen and knowing that the players have given everything to try and get the three points. Of course, we have to take the point, but I think they can be proud of what they saw."