Leeds United promotion rivals boosted by Premier League club's latest decision after strong interest

Leeds United’s promotion rivals Ipswich Town are set to hang onto successful first-team head coach Kieran McKenna despite several reports linking the Northern Irishman with a Premier League move.

The Tractor Boys’ boss won promotion from League One last season and has presided over a startling reintroduction to the Championship by guiding Ipswich into the race for automatic promotion. A recent blip has seen the Suffolk side slip to fourth in the table, relinquishing their grip on second place to Leeds and Southampton, but McKenna’s men are still very much in the hunt for a second consecutive promotion this season. The 37-year-old was substantively linked to the Crystal Palace job earlier this month, several reports suggesting he could take over from veteran manager Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park. Palace have struggled of late, suffering heavy defeats and winning just three times in their last 19 games, which led many to speculate that Hodgson’s time in South London could soon be up. It does appear the Premier League club will make a change sooner rather than later, but it is unlikely to be McKenna who takes charge. Instead, Eintracht Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner is in the frame to succeed Hodgson, but certainly fits the bill as a young, up-and-coming coach that initially attracted the Eagles to McKenna. McKenna’s position at Portman Road will be of great interest to clubs higher up the English football pyramid this summer given his efforts over the past 18 months. His contract at Ipswich expires next summer. Following their win on Wednesday night, Ipswich moved to within three points of Leeds having also played 32 of their 46 matches this season. They next face struggling trio Swansea City, Rotherham United and Birmingham City as they look to assert themselves in the promotion race once again.

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