'I want to get back to the top with Ipswich' - McKenna outlines personal ambitions

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna before the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, Ipswich. Pi

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has ambitions to manage at the top levels of club football. - Credit: PA

Kieran McKenna makes no secret of his desire to become a Premier League manager - and he says he wants to achieve that ambition with Ipswich Town.

A promising young player at Tottenham, McKenna was forced to hang up his boots at the age of 22 due to a chronic hip injury. From there his rapid rise up the coaching ranks started, ultimately leading to him becoming first team coach at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho.

Head-hunted by the Blues last December, the 35-year-old has made a fantastic start to senior management. Town's record under the Northern Irishman reads P19 W10 D6 L3 F22 A8 and, though it's not quite been enough to undo the damage caused earlier in the campaign, there is hope that the Blues will be serious contenders for League One promotion next season.

Such has been his impact at Portman Road that some supporters have already begun to voice fears that McKenna could soon be lured away.

Addressing that topic at a recent Fans' Forum, the Blues boss said: "To be honest, I wouldn't be at the club if I didn't think that it could match my ambition. Obviously I've moved here from the biggest football club in the world, a football club that is very special to me, that I grew up supporting and that I felt I had a really big role to play at going forwards.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna pictured ahead of the game.

Kieran McKenna, along with the club's ambitious new owners, has helped bring some feelgood factor back to Ipswich Town over recent months. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

"As I said when I arrived, I wouldn't have made the step away to go to just any football club. I wanted to go somewhere where there was a project, where there was the potential to grow something and to be there over a good period of time.

"That was the type of project I was waiting for and that was the type of project that Mark (Ashton) and the club presented to me. From what I've seen here first hand that feeling has only been strengthened in terms of the ambition of the football club and the potential of the football club if we all get behind it."

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He continued: "We know that's going to be a long journey and I'm here to be a big part of that journey. I'm here to help guide the football club to where it wants to get to and, obviously, ultimately where I want to get to as a manager. 

"I feel like I have worked at the highest levels of the game in club football, I felt very confident there and I fee like that's somewhere I want to be again.

"That's a journey that I want to take with Ipswich Town. That's certainly where all my concentration is going."