Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna thought his side deserved to cling on at the death and see out a hard-fought 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.

Conor Chaplin's well-worked goal in the ninth minute proved to be the difference at Ewood Park, with relegation-fighting Rovers subsequently having three goals chalked off and piling on the pressure in the latter stages.

An eighth win from the last nine games lifts the Blues, temporarily at least, to the top of the Championship table ahead of Leeds' game at Watford.

"Of course it's a fantastic result," said McKenna. "You have enjoy every win that you get in the Championship, especially away from home. It's a clean sheet and a really good goal scored.

"The performance was obviously mixed throughout the game. First half we started ever so well. Big credit to the way we came out after international duty and imposed ourselves really well. We were really slick on the ball, gave the opposition problems and I thought we controlled most of the first half.

"The goal was fitting with our start to the game. It was really slick and incisive movement off the ball. Leif (Davis) picks out Conor really well and he manages to wriggle it underneath the goalkeeper. It was a well-worked goal.

"Blackburn have a counter threat, and they set up to give us problems through the middle of the pitch, so we didn't have it all our way, but I thought we had a really good first half.

"I thought we started the second half well to be honest. Probably the one thing we can improve from today is, not just how the game finished, but getting that second goal by being a little bit more clinical.

"As the second half went on it became tough. We knew there would be tiredness in the group today. We knew we'd lose Kieffer (Moore) early in the game (after he'd played 120 minutes for Wales in midweek). It became a really challenging last 30 minutes. 

"Of course we would have liked to have shown more composure and more control and played more in their half. We didn't manage to do that, not through any lack of intent.

"We have to remember where the boys have come from and how much this means to them. Also, the front three for the last 30 minutes - Omari (Hutchinson), Ali (Al-Hamadi) and Jeremy (Sarmiento) - it's their first season in men's football. These boys are doing fantastically.

"We worked really hard, we defended our box really well, we blocked crosses, we defended our set plays really well, we blocked shots. We didn't control the game as we would have liked, but sometimes you have to show that other side. I thought we did that really well and got a deserved clean sheet."

Referee Stuart Atwell's performance was a major talking point in this game. He failed to spot a clear tug on Nathan Broadhead in the box early on, then controversially chalked off three Blackburn goals - two for offside and one for a foul on Vaclav Hladky.

"I thought it should have been a penalty (for Broadhead), yeah," said McKenna. "I haven't seen it back but it looked blatant from where I was.

"Regarding their ones, I thought the one that was given for offside (against Sammie Szmodics) looked a clear offside. You could see it clearly from my position that the striker was a yard in front of Vas and jumping as the ball was struck. 

"The one in the second half was a clear foul, I thought. The referee blew it early. I know the ball goes in the net, but everyone heard the whistle before the ball went in. So no dramas there. 

"I thought the referee handled it well. It was a competitive game. The crowd get up a bit, as home crowds do when they don't get the decisions they want, but I thought he reffed it well. The decisions, apart from Nathan's penalty, were, by my eye, pretty good."

Leicester lost 1-0 at Bristol City in the early kick-off, with Southampton subsequently conceding late on to draw 1-1 with Middlesbrough at home.

Asked if he and the players had been aware of those earlier results, McKenna said: "Yeah. There's not much to do in the hotel to be honest, so once we had our prep done this morning we watched a bit of the lunchtime fixture as we would any other week. I know that had no bearing on our preparations or our mindset for this game."

Quizzed if he'd watched Watford v Leeds (8pm ko) on the journey home to Suffolk, the Blues boss said: "Probably not, to be honest. No. I'll spend my time between watching a bit of this game back and probably Netflix."

With Leif Davis subbed late on in this game, McKenna revealed: "There has been a bit of illness. You don't like to make a fuss of these things, but we have had quite a few boys with the flu. Leif was one of them. It was really touch and go as to whether he could play the game. He found it really, really difficult to breath throughout the game. He did well to play the 70 minutes or whatever he had. Harry Clarke, who came on for him, was one of the other ones. There were quite a few others.

"These things happen. It's going around the country at the moment. For Kieffer to get out there and play 60 minutes today represents the fantastic commitment we're seeing from these boys every week."