'Stats say we're the top performing team in the league' - McKenna

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna looks on.

Ipswich Town's record under Kieran McKenna reads P12 W7 D3 L2. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna is confident his team is playing well enough to mount a late promotion push.

Frustrating draws against Cheltenham and Morecambe last week have left the Blues sitting six points adrift of the League One play-off places and requiring at least six, probably seven, wins from their final 11 games to secure a top-six spot.

The Blues are back in Lancashire tomorrow to take on relegation-fighting Fleetwood and then host struggling Lincoln in front of a bumper Portman Road crowd on Tuesday night. After that comes three successive games against play-off rivals Portsmouth (h), Oxford (a) and Plymouth (h).

Asked if he took inspiration from the likes of Blackpool and Bolton, teams that surged to promotion late on last season, McKenna replied: "I think it happens every year. Yes, we can use those external references if we want. But I think we can look to ourselves if I'm honest.

"If you look at most objective markers over the last 12 games - chances created, expected goals, chances created against us - we've been the top performing team in the league. In terms of performance, we know that over the last 12 games there has not been anyone significantly better than us in the the league.

"In terms of points, there have been very few teams who have picked up more points than us over the last 12 games (just Rotherham, MK Dons and Bolton) and I think our performances have been even better than the points total we've gained.

"We've lost two games out of 12, we're picking up two points a game and we're in a healthy position in terms of performances.

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"We've spoken as a group this week about how there are a lot of things that reflect how positively we're doing. Over a longer haul of games if you perform well, if you create more chances than the opposition, then you're going to win plenty of games. We'll keep looking to do what we've been doing, improve on what we've been doing and we think that will be enough to win plenty of games."

He added: "With the situation we're in, draws aren't too much benefit. We know that we're going to have to win a lot of games. 

"We have to stay calm though. There's still a lot of points to play for. Whatever the result this weekend, I don't think it defines the situation one way or another."