Kieran McKenna must start playing 18-year old Ipswich youngster to keep Premier League hope…

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna believes he is ready to manage in the Premier League.

The 37-year-old former Manchester United coach has made an incredible start to life in senior management, taking the Blues from midtable in League One to the thick of a Championship promotion race within the space of two years.

Last week, when he was made odds-on favourite to replace Roy Hodgson at Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace, McKenna insisted his ‘full focus and full commitment’ was with Ipswich.

Former Eintracht Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner is now reportedly the forerunner to get the job at Selhurst Park, though that didn’t stop McKenna being quizzed, following Saturday’s 2-1 win at Swansea City, whether he felt he was ready to manage in the top-flight.

“I’ve not been asked it from that angle yet,” he said, with a smile, before taking time to choose his words in response.

“I’ve been in the Premier League as a first team coach and had a big contribution to some big wins and some good seasons there. So I know the level, I’ve operated at that level, I think I can help players at that level and teams at that level.

“Yeah, ultimately in my career that’s where I want to work and want to make an impact.

“But I think there are other coaches in the chain who can do that too. There’s really good managers at every level.

“I’m enjoying my job here. It’s a fantastic football club, it’s a great group to work with and that’s where the focus is at the moment. I’m enjoying the really good season that we’re having.”

Ipswich, three points behind second-place Leeds with a game-in-hand to come, host rock-bottom Rotherham United at Portman Road tomorrow night.

The Northern Irishman has been linked with a number of jobs in recent months, which comes as no real surprise considering how well he has done at Portman Road.

Manchester United, a club he previously coached at, are one club that are thought to be keen on him amid Erik ten Hag’s struggles at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag remains in his job at this point, but there has been plenty of speculation about his future.

There has also been speculation about Roberto De Zerbi’s future at Brighton and Hove Albion – and McKenna has been linked with the top job at the Amex Stadium.

In the same report from The Sun, the Seagulls’ arch-rivals Crystal Palace were another team that were believed to be keeping an eye on him, but they went on to appoint Oliver Glasner instead.

That could mean that there’s a tug-of-war between the Red Devils and the Seagulls for McKenna’s signature, but it remains to be seen what will happen.

Not only are the remaining games of the campaign important for the two Premier League sides, but they are also vital for Ipswich, who currently sit in the top two and are aiming to secure back-to-back promotions.

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