“It’s difficult being Ipswich Town..” Boss of Sheffield Wednesday rivals in ‘massive challenge’ rant as pressure ramps up

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Sheffield Wednesday leapfrogged Ipswich Town into the League One automatic promotion places on Monday – before Tractor Boys boss Kieran McKenna launched into a passionate post-match rant.

The former Manchester United youth coach watched his pace-setting side held to a 1-1 draw against 10-man Lincoln City and tumble out of the top two for the first time since August.

The Imps had a man sent off at the end of the first half and got their goal through a spot kick when Kane Vincent-Young was adjudged to have fouled Paudie O'Connor on the hour. Jack Diamond did the business and only a late Cameron Humphreys goal saved Town blushes.

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Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.

With Wednesday’s leapfrogging complete thanks to a 5-0 win over Cambridge United, McKenna held little back in criticising into the performance of the officials, making a head-scratching suggestion that Ipswich’s size has some sort of negative bearing on refereeing calls.

“I’ve said in the dressing room that it’s going to be a massive, massive challenge but a great achievement to get this team and this club out of League One,” he said.

“There’s a whole host of challenges ahead of us and that decision was symbolic of one of the big challenges for us.

“That’s one of the reasons why it’s difficult being Ipswich Town in League One.

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“We have to keep owning the bits we can control. I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s not a bias against Ipswich Town. But I think the penalty record is very bizarre.

“We’ve had instances against us 10 times worse at Portman Road and they’ve not been given.

“We’ve had one penalty for us and two against at home and from a statistical point of view from appeals it’s really difficult to understand.

“For that one to be given, the referee says it’s ‘inappropriate marking’, but it’s for something that happened in both boxes from every corner was very strange.

“Referees can make mistakes as we all can but he said it’s the first one like that he’s given and I can’t imagine that’s the most aggressive action he’s seen in the box this season.”