Burns: We Should Be Looking For Six Points From the Next Two
Friday, 8th Oct 2021 06:00
New boy Wes Burns sees Town’s next two games – at home to Shrewsbury on Saturday and away to Cambridge the following week – as an opportunity to bank maximum points and climb the League One table.
The Blues have yet to record back-to-back wins since Paul Cook took charge in March, although they came close recently when victories over Lincoln and Doncaster sandwiched a draw with Sheffield Wednesday, giving them seven points from a possible nine.
Burns said: “No disrespect to Shrewsbury or Cambridge but they are games we look at with a view to taking all three points. We’re at home on Saturday and away at Cambridge, which we know is a bit of a local one, so we’ll be looking to win both and take six points. It is definitely an opportunity to spark the season into life.
“We don’t look too far ahead. I’m pretty sure all the lads will be focused on one game and that’s obviously Saturday against Shrewsbury.
“We’re still in a situation where we are very much tweaking things with regard to the starting 11 and because of that we haven’t really had the same team very often.
“We have to have 100 per cent focus going into every game and not concern ourselves about the ones that come after.”
Burns was asked if he was happy with his own form and replied: “I’m kind of happy with my form but I know I could be a lot better in terms of affecting games for a bit longer than I am.
“I’m still getting to the 65 or 70-minute mark and dying off a little bit so it’s all about building my fitness to the point where I can put in a full shift for 90 minutes, which I’m obviously building towards.
“The recent injury I had kept me out of training and took its toll on my fitness, so it’s just a case of building that back up.”
Town legend Mick Mills, who skippered the club to FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory as well as clocking up a record 741 appearances, has been impressed with Burns this season. In his role as BBC Radio Suffolk’s expert summariser, alongside commentator Brenner Woolley, he has made special mention of the player’s dynamic displays down the right side and in particular how he always looks to start games in explosive fashion.
But is it feasible to both start and finish games in that way? “It’s definitely possible,” said Burns. “I’ve played in games when I’ve been able to play throughout the 90 minutes at the same pace and that’s the situation I want to be in now. It also comes from the manager and how he wants us to play.
“The gaffer has made it clear he wants us to start aggressively out of the blocks so it’s a combination of how I like to play and his own philosophy about how he wants us to play, bursting out of the blocks from the kick-off.”
Asked if he always had the same approach throughout his playing career, which started at Bristol City and included loan spells with Forest Green Rovers, Oxford United, Cheltenham, Aberdeen and Fleetwood before he joined the Cod Army on a permanent basis in January 2017, Burns said: “Yes, that’s how I’ve always been and it’s just the type of player I am.
“I know a lot of players like to feel their way into a game – a safe pass, finding a teammate with a ball into the channel – but for me it’s about getting at the full-back as quickly as I can to test the water. Is he quick or is he slow, does he defend off his right foot or his left? The quicker I can figure all that out, the better really.
“We have a clips platform where clips are sent through to us to study. It happens throughout the week leading up to the game.
“It could be the back four, the midfield two, the strikers, whatever, we have it all sent through. We do quite a bit of research on forthcoming opponents.”
Some EFL games have been postponed this weekend because of international fixtures but Burns, who scored six goals in 18 appearances for the Wales U21s, is still trying to catch the eye of boss Robert Page after narrowly failing to make the squad for the final stages of the European Championship in 2016.
It is almost six years to the day since he received his first senior call-up for Euro qualifiers against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Andorra without playing and the following May he was named in a 29-strong provisional squad ahead of the finals, only to be excluded when the final 23-man squad was confirmed.
Burns added: “I do want to get myself back into that set-up but I know the only way I can do it is by playing regularly and well for Ipswich, grabbing a few more goals and creating plenty of chances.
“As long as I am putting in the performances at club level I would hope the international call-up could happen.
“If you look at our squad you will see a lot of players from the EFL, the likes of Josh Sheehan from Bolton, so that is encouraging for both me and Lee [Evans], who is also looking to be selected for his country.
“I came close to making the squad for the Euros in 2016 but despite the disappointment it was a great experience to be part of everything going into what was obviously a very successful tournament for Wales.”
Finally, the distance between their home in Cardiff and Portman Road is not proving to be an obstacle for Burns’s family with his parents attending all Town’s home games.
“It’s a long way,” said Burns, “but they’re coming towards the end of their working lives so they have a bit more free time on the weekends.
“They usually drive over the day before and stay in a hotel or at my place. It’s good to see them and they always seem to enjoy themselves while they’re here.
“I think I will see them again when we’re down in Plymouth at the end of the month because that’s a shorter trip for them.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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