Edmundson on his growing Burgess partnership and the duo's two false starts
- Credit: Archant
After a rocky start, Ipswich Town’s new central defensive partnership are firmly finding their feet.
The pairing of George Edmundson and Cameron Burgess have now helped the Blues secure seven points from their last three games, a run which has seen Paul Cook’s men concede just one goal in the process.
That’s a world away from their first match together in Ipswich blue, a 5-2 drubbing by Bolton in which both looked shaky and raised plenty of questions about the promotion hopefuls’ credentials.
It’s also a vast improvement on the one game they played together prior to their arrival in Suffolk - a forgotten Checkatrade Trophy game for Oldham in 2016. The youngsters, aged just 18 and 20 at the time, conspired to concede five goals to Carlisle in a 5-4 loss. Burgess, the older of the two, scored an own goal and they never played together for the Latics again.
“I can definitely remember it,” Edmundson said of the game. “It was Carlisle and we lost 5-4 in the Trophy.
“Cam was on loan from Fulham and we were both really young lads then. After that game I ended up going out on loan (to Alfreton) and he stayed and played half a season for Oldham.
“But we’re back together now.”
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And back together they are, five years later. It looks like they’re here to stay at the heart of the Ipswich defence, growing in confidence with each passing game.
This partnership has been a long time in the making, with Edmundson arriving from Rangers in July with a niggling injury which kept him out until the middle of September, leaving Burgess to begin his Ipswich career alongside Luke Woolfenden.
“It was a frustrating time to be injured,” Edmundson said of his start to life at Town.
“When I came in the club knew I was injured so it was a case of not rushing things because it’s a long season. It was annoying, but you know there are plenty of games to be involved in. I missed a couple of weeks rather than a couple of months
“In the first game I wasn’t quite fit but I felt really strong at the weekend (against Sheffield Wednesday) and felt like I had loads of energy. I’m feeling bigger and stronger with every game.”
The loss to Bolton was difficult for all those associated with the Blues but, as the games have passed since that defeat, confidence has grown throughout the camp.
Not least at the heart of defence.
“My debut wasn’t the best but you have games like that in football,” Edmundson said. “We didn’t click defensively or going forward but I feel like we’ve turned a bit. We’ve tweaked a few things and it’s working.
“Cam’s a great lad and a really good defender. After the Bolton game, we have sat down with the gaffer and done a lot of individual clips and tweaked a few things.
“You can see from the results that we’ve started to look a lot more solid.”
Edmundson was one of 19 senior players brought to Portman Road in the summer and it’s the wealth of attacking options he faces daily in training, as much as his defensive partners, which excite the former Rangers man.
“One of the reasons I have come to Ipswich is because Paul Cook’s teams play really good football and the project here excites me,” Edmundson said.
“We are serious about this and that’s exciting.
“Even before I came here, they’d signed people like Matt Penney, Wes Burns and Joe Pigott. Conor Chaplin signed on the same day as me.
“Even then I had heard about the signings and since I’ve come in people like Bersant Celina have signed. That showed the intent and it was a massive pull for me.
“We’ve taken seven points from the last nine and we’re all really pleased. You have to give it to the lads who aren’t getting on the team-sheet, they’re not getting in the squads but are still working hard. The whole squad is really good.
“We didn’t have the best start but the last three games have put a real stamp on things for us. It feels like we’ve arrived.”
Next up is a trip to Accrington for a game in which Edmundson will make the 100th league appearance of his career, in front of plenty of family and friends from his home in the North West.
“As everyone says, getting to your 100th appearance is a bit of a benchmark,” the 24-year-old said.
“I’m not a young kid any more but that’s a big landmark for me.
“I don’t know how many tickets we get because a few of my mates have asked as well. It saves them coming all the way down to Ipswich for a game.
“My family will be there. They don’t miss a game.”