Kieran McKenna is aware that the step-up to the Premier League will be a significant challenge for Ipswich Town, but believes that the club's 'core idenity' will put them in a good position to remain competitive.

The Blues secured back-to-back promotions to return to the top flight after 22 years away, having played League One football as recently as 13 months ago.

Now they'll be preparing to take on some of the biggest and best teams in the world, which will obviously be a real challenge for the entire squad.

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Nonetheless, McKenna is excited about what's to come, stressing that the club will need to focus on the 'togetherness' that's got them to this stage in such a short space of time.

"It's a big step-up, there's no doubt about it," he told TownTV.

"If I can say it quite obviously, it's a bigger jump up to go from the Championship to the Premier League than it is to go from League One to the Championship, so it's a really big jump.

"With the level of players and managers, it's the best league in the world. It's got the best players, it's got the best managers, it's got the biggest attention, all of those things.

"We know going into it that there's going to be challenges, we're not going to win as many games, we're not going to be as dominant as we have been in the last couple of seasons, that's for sure.

The Blues beat Huddersfield Town on the final day of the season to return to the top flight after 22 years awayThe Blues beat Huddersfield Town on the final day of the season to return to the top flight after 22 years away (Image: PA)

"But what a challenge to take on! A generation of supporters are going to see the best players in the world and the best managers in the world coming to Portman Road week in, week out.

"Another generation have seen it before but maybe thought it wouldn't come again. The club and the town are back on the global map and it's going to be fantastic.

"We're going to stick to the identity that we've built, the team that we are, the values that we uphold as a team and as a football club. We're going to have to find ways to be adaptable and find other ways to win games, to pick up points.

"The core culture that we've built, the core identity that we've built, the togetherness, the spirit that we've built - not just in the playing group, but between the players, the staff, the supporters and the board - that's the bit we need to lean into.

"That's the bit that needs to stay rock-solid, that's the bit that will make this season even more enjoyable and that's the bit that I believe will ultimately give us a fantastic chance of having a good impact and staying in the division.

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"That's what we need to stick to and that's what we'll stick to. Doing that, I think we've got a fantastic year ahead of us.

"We'll meet the challenges head on, we'll meet them as a club, and I think we'll have some great days and enjoy it along the way."

The Premier League fixtures will be announced next week on Tuesday, June 18th at 9am BST.