'No fear' - Defiant Ipswich Town claim amid Championship promotion race vs Leeds United and Leicester City

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Tractor Boys dropped into third after Leeds United’s win over Middlesbrough on Monday.

Conor Chaplin insists Ipswich Town continue to play without fear as their promotion battle with Leeds United and Leicester City heats up.

Ipswich have done a magnificent job in keeping pace with their automatic promotion rivals, given they only came up from League One last season while Leeds and Leicester dropped down from the Premier League. Kieran McKenna’s side fell out of the top-two after Leeds beat Middlesbrough 4-3 on Monday but fate remains in their hands.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pressure could soon be heaped on Ipswich, with Leeds able to pull four points clear if they beat Queens Park Rangers on Friday while victory at home to Southampton this evening would see Leicester five ahead. But the Tractor Boys will have games in hand on both and Chaplin insists the pressure is not being felt at Portman Road.

"I'm excited and to be a part of this team is an honour," Chaplin told BBC Sport of his side’s promotion battle. "We just need to enjoy the last three games, and see where it takes us. We're not stressed. We have no fear.

“We've been in the situation all season where people have expected us to drop off and we've been enjoying the ride and not focusing on numbers, just on performance. I think we thoroughly deserve to be where we are. We feel like we're one of the best teams in the division.”

All three promotion hopefuls look set to top 90 points, with Ipswich the only side yet to reach that incredible milestone. In most seasons that would guarantee a place in the Premier League and Farke’s early-season goal of 86 points may only have been good enough for fourth this campaign.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Leeds, Leicester and Ipswich were on course for 100 points going into the March international break but poor runs for each has seen that become impossible. Nonetheless, one of the trio will feel incredibly hard done by, come the evening of May 4, having had to settle for the drama of play-off football.

Promotion permutations

The Championship promotion race has been unique in two ways this season, with three teams on course for an unprecedented points total and an unusually spread out fixture schedule. The progression of Coventry City and Leicester into the latter stages of the FA Cup has affected both the Foxes and Ipswich, with one team always holding at least one game in hand over the other.

It makes it all the more intriguing and Leeds boss Farke has made clear his preference to have points on the board over games in hand, with his side able to pull four points clear of Ipswich if they win at QPR. That would turn the pressure up in Norfolk, with dropped points at either Hull City or Coventry putting Leeds in the driving seat.

That Leeds have a comfortably superior goal difference could also prove crucial and if Ipswich take just one point from trips to Hull and Coventry, an instant return to the Premier League would be all but confirmed for the Whites. Two defeats for McKenna’s side will condemn them to play-off football.