Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna says having the unwavering backing of the club's 'realistic' fans could make all the difference if the team is to sustain a push for the Premier League.

The Blues have maintained momentum from their League One promotion charge to sit second in the Championship table with a third of season already gone.

A large number of the 11 wins have come in fine margins affairs though, with successive 2-2 draws at Birmingham and Rotherham in recent days a timely reminder of how relentlessly tough the second-tier of English football is.

Ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Swansea City, McKenna was asked how important it is that those inside a packed out Portman Road don't take their '12th man' role for granted.

"It's massive," he replied. "Our support has been fantastic home and away and that’s been a big part of us coming out on the right side of tight games and margins time and time again. The players stick to our principles and that would be extremely hard to do if the crowd wasn’t behind them and with them. 

“We’re really realistic inside the camp and I think, in general, the supporters are as well. We know it’s a big step up, of course we’ve won a lot of games and played some really good football, but the games are a big, big challenge.

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"Going to Rotherham away on a Tuesday night after a trip to Birmingham, in difficult conditions with some injuries, I think anyone who’s realistic knows it’s very unlikely you’re going to go there and win 3-0. They’ve hardly lost a home game by more than one goal in the last calendar year. Leicester City went there with 80% of a Premier League team and needed a late winner on a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon. 

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has thanked supporters for their unwavering backing during games.Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has thanked supporters for their unwavering backing during games. (Image: Steve Waller)

“Other teams are allowed to have plans as well and it’s been more common over recent weeks that teams have tried to stop us. We’ve seen teams change their marking strategy through the middle of the pitch, try and stop us really playing through them and that’s a challenge that the players on the pitch have adapt to and rise to. I think they’re doing a terrific job of trying to do that.

"It’s about finding different ways to build pressure, work out where the overloads are and find solutions as the game’s going on. That’s what you need to do when teams set out their stall to stop you. 

“Our record has been excellent, but the margins have been really tight. Having the supporters right there with us has been massive for us and it’s going to be massive for us for the rest of the season."