Where the League One festive fixtures so far have left Town ahead of McKenna's first game

Town players ahead of kick-off.

Ipswich Town sit 11th in the League One table - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Incoming Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna begins his quest to drag the Blues back into the League One promotion race when he takes charge of his first game on Wednesday night. 

Wycombe’s visit to Portman Road, set to be played in front of a crowd of more than 25,000, marks the Blues’ first match in 10 days, after the scheduled clash with Gillingham on Boxing Day was postponed due to Covid cases at the Kent club. 

The picture in League One has changed since McKenna’s appointment, prior to the game with Sunderland on December 18, with the matches played over the festive period shaking the table up a little. 

Only four games survived on Boxing Day, with the rest called off due to Covid, while Sunderland beat Doncaster Rovers 3-0 this afternoon. 

That means the gap between Ipswich, now in 11th, to the Black Cats in the second automatic promotion place is a sizeable 17 points. Rotherham, sitting top, are a point better off. 

While nothing is impossible, the top two is surely out of reach for the Blues, with the play-offs the best bet of salvaging anything from a season which started with so much positivity. 

The top six is now 10 points away for Town, with Oxford in the final play-off place having played a game less than Ipswich. 

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The same is true of a Wycombe side who visit Portman Road this week and currently sit fifth, 13 points away from Town. 

The teams in seventh, eighth and ninth have also all played a game less than Ipswich, while Burton, Bolton and Wimbledon below them could all go above Town should they win all of their games in hand. 

Town have now played half of their 46 League One matches, picking up 29 points, with teams needing an average of 73 to reach the play-offs, using an average taken over the last 10 complete seasons. 

That means the Blues need to claim 44 points from their remaining 23 matches. 

When asked about the size of the task at hand during his opening press conference, McKenna said: "There is expectation here and rightfully so because we feel we are a big club with investment in the squad.  

“But there are no guarantees in this league. I’ve seen enough of it already to know that. There are other big clubs in the division who feel they belong higher and deserve to be. But that doesn’t mean anything.  

“The only way you will climb the league is by doing the right things on the training pitch, setting up the team in the right way and managing to put it on the pitch to get results.  

“We want to get promotion from the league. When that comes I don’t know. We need to go to Gillingham (game was called off a few days later) and make sure we do all the right things to put ourselves in a position to get three points.  

“We’ll have to do it again three days later (against Wycombe) and then in every game after that. That’s the only way to get success.  

“The fanbase and support can help the club move forward but the players and staff around them need to get results.” 

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