Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden says the squad shut out any suggestions they would struggle in the Championship this season and knew they had the quality to compete.

The Tractor Boys lead the early table after winning both their opening games in their first campaign in the second tier for four years.

“It’s obviously good for confidence,” Woolfenden told BBC Radio Suffolk.

“We’re in control of the narrative and we’re not getting carried away.”

Ipswich Town: Defender Luke Woolfenden says squad 'never listened' to  Championship doubters

Town, promoted as runners-up from League One behind champions Plymouth Argyle last term, have made the best possible start to life back in the Championship by beating Sunderland and Stoke City.

That leaves Kieran McKenna’s side sitting top of the table, ahead of Leicester City – the other other side to have a 100% winning start – on goal difference.

For Woolfenden, Ipswich’s impressive start justifies the strong belief the squad have that they can make an impact this season – citing their performance against Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup last season, when they took the Championship winners to a replay before losing in the last minute.

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“I think there was a lot said about how much experience we had in the team in the Championship and whether that was enough but I don’t think we ever listened to that,” he said.

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“We knew that, as a team, if we play at our best we can beat anyone in this league – we showed that last season when we played Burnley in the [FA] Cup.

“It is good for morale to get the two wins back to back but there’s a long way to go and we’ve seen how up and down this league can be.”

Woolfenden said pre-season Championship favourites Leicester “weren’t bad company” to be in with at the top after two matches and says he hopes Town’s start will help put them in the conversation for this season’s promotion candidates.

“Everyone always said we should get promoted [to the Championship] this year, then this year, and it never really materialised,” he said.

“The gaffer’s been really good at making us focus game by game, session by session.”

Town stormed to promotion last season with a run of 13 wins in their last 15 matches in boss McKenna’s first full campaign in charge.

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And Woolfenden, who scored his first Championship goal in the 2-0 win over the Potters, says the work McKenna has put them through this pre-season in preparation for the step-up in level is already paying off.

“We’ve had to accept that teams are better in this league and do better things with the ball,” he said.

“They look to attack earlier and keep the ball away from you for fun and that’s been tough for us because we’ve been used to having the ball a lot.

“We’ve shown a lot of character so far in winning both games.

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“We worked very hard in pre-season, we covered more distance than last year by a considerable amount with more high-intensity running because we know that’s what it takes to do well in this league.

“I’ve always said I felt I could play comfortably at this level and I want to go higher.”

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