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Can Ipswich Town Survive the Premier League?

More than two decades ago, Ipswich Town were relegated from the Premier League alongside Leicester. Now they are both heading back up there after securing automatic promotion in the 2023/24 season.

Even though Premier League relegation odds and ClubSport predictions may paint the Tractor Boys as one of the favourites to go straight back down, can they find a crack and ride the crest of this remarkable wave they are on?

Ipswich Town have written a remarkable chapter of club history in the last couple of years. Simply getting to the top flight is only half of the battle, of course, staying there is a completely different matter.

Back to the Top

Remarkably, when McKenna joined the club, he took over a mid-table team that had been dumped out of the FA Cup by a non-league side. But within 30 months and successive promotions, Premier League football is heading Ipswich Town’s way.

Collecting 96 points as a newly promoted team in the Championship is no mean feat, and it’s that which makes their return even more stunning. It’s an astonishing accomplishment in what is one of the toughest, most competitive football leagues in Europe.

McKenna the Key

But now comes the planning for survival in the Premier League. McKenna is a modern data-driven manager, but also a task-master when it comes to driving peak physical fitness. Those are huge qualities that give Ipswich a genuine chance of surviving in the EPL.

Ipswich Town’s problem is that bigger clubs will come head-heading McKenna. There’s always a summer shake-up in the top flight, with managers leaving their respective posts and KcKenna’s name is bound to be linked with open positions.

But this is McKenna’s Ipswich Town and it must stay that way for their shot at survival. The club will trust him, and the players that he keeps around him will trust him. But will the lure of a bigger job be too much?

Locking Down Contracts

Ipswich did some superb work with loan players to help them pull off their stunning promotion. That’s a common thing for promotion-chasing teams in the Championship, but Ipswich excelled with the likes of Jeremy Sarmiento, Omari Hutchinson and Kieffer Moore.

Loan players returning to their parent clubs means that the shape of a newly promoted team takes on a much different look at the start of a Premier League season. The more of the backbone of their promotion-winning team McKenna can keep together, the better.

There’s proof that he can do this.

Solid Transitioning

When McKenna raised Ipswich from League One to the Championship, he didn’t have much of a shake-up in his squad. He largely doubled down on the strengths that he had around him and worked on that.

The squad that earned promotion to the EPL in early May, is, in many ways, much the same as the one that he brought up from League One. Now, stepping that up to the Premier League is a different matter entirely, and extra pieces will be needed.

Experienced Premier League players are going to be invaluable to Ipswich in their position. It’s not tearing up the squad, it’s accentuating it with players who know the ropes of life in the top flight and they have to be smart with this.

No Right or Wrong

There’s no right or wrong way to go about dealing with promotion – it just needs to be Ipswich’s way. Nottingham Forest threw the cheque book at the transfer market after getting promoted, while others like Burnley and Luton were more stringent with spending.

The EPL is just a tough place to survive, but with the right recipe, it can be done. Brentford, Aston Villa and Bournemouth are recent examples of successful transitions up to the top flight.

The quality at the foot of the 2023/24 Premier League was poor. That could be something else that helps the Tractor Boys first gain a foothold in the league in the 2024/25 season, and then deal with the issues of maintaining that privileged status.

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