'There will be change... we're playing for our futures' - Burgess on final five

Cameron Burgess in a battle with Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Ipswich Town defender Cameron Burgess tackles Portsmouth's Ryan Tunnicliffe. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Cameron Burgess says Ipswich Town's players are all determined to prove they deserve to be a part of an exciting project over the remaining five games of the season.

Last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to Cambridge United has virtually guaranteed a fourth successive campaign in League One for the Blues, the gap to the play-off places now standing at eight points with just 15 left to play for.

Nevertheless, there is optimism for the future thanks to an ambitious ownership and the impact young manager Kieran McKenna has made over recent months.

“The Cambridge result was a blow," admitted defender Burgess. "It was a tough one to take after the little run we had put together.

Cameron Burgess heads forwards.

Cameron Burgess heads clear in last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to Cambridge United. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“You never say never, and stranger things have happened, but we know it’s out of our hands now and we just have to go out and finish the season strongly.

“Some of the lads have looked at the situation closely and it’s like every season, bar one maybe, for the last 20 years, 74 points would get you in the play-offs. But not this one, obviously, so for me personally it would be good to get to the 74-point mark, or hopefully more (Town are currently on 64). At least we could be happy to have got that far, especially given the start we had.

“There are no players in our team who would ever down tools, regardless of whether we can or can’t do it. While it would be very disappointing to miss out, there is still a lot of optimism for the future."

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After tomorrow's match at Shrewsbury, Town finish the campaign with games against Rotherham (a), Wigan (h), Crewe (a) and Charlton (h).

"I know that everybody here wants to be a part of it next season and that’s probably what the final five games of the season are going to be about," continued Burgess.

Cameron Burgess at full stretch to direct the ball towards goal, although the linesman flagged for o

Cameron Burgess (left) was denied an assist in the 0-0 draw against Portsmouth because the linesman thought Luke Woolfenden (right) touched the ball back across goal. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“There will be some change in the summer. Players need to show they are committed and want to stay here, and they need to put themselves out there to demonstrate that. Because there are a load of players across the different leagues, both this league and the league above, that want to be a part of what we are all involved in at the moment.

“It was always going to be tough when you bring in a lot of new players to a club, as we did last summer, but the way we have performed during the second half of the season bodes well for the future.

“I think our fans and even outsiders can see that. I think we have shown enough in the last run of games that we can hopefully be in a pretty good place next season. 

“You can look back at a lot of games and think what might have been if we had picked up points here and there, but we have to own it and make sure we don’t do it next season.

"We’ll be looking to get it right next time around and hopefully get off to a flying start.”

Cameron Burgess (on ground) gets the ball in the back of the net for Town, but Sone Aluko (right) wa

Cameron Burgess (on ground) gets the ball in the back of the net for Ipswich Town late on in last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Cambridge, but Sone Aluko (right) was adjudged to have been offside. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

A £750k signing from Accrington Stanley last August, Burgess has found game-time difficult to come by in his debut campaign with the Blues. George Edmundson's season-ending injury against Lincoln last month opened the door though and the 26-year-old has stepped up well over the last four games.

"I wasn't playing because those in my position were playing so well that they couldn’t be dropped," he said. "But you have to stay ready and if the chance comes along, it's up to you to take it. Hopefully I've done that. It's now up to me to keep my spot in the team.

“I’ve definitely improved, definitely matured and definitely improved in terms of understanding the game.

"I’m finding that I’m going back to a lot of things I used to be good at, if you like. This style of play that we are playing is how I want to play football. It’s what brings out the best in me.

Cameron Burgess in a battle with Sam Smith.

Cameron Burgess in a battle with Cambridge United's Sam Smith. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

"It’s also down to the level of training we do and the amount of detail the staff go into with us.

“With the help we are given, both on and off the pitch, I would say it’s hard not to improve.”

The Scottish-born centre-back added: “We haven’t scored enough goals from set-pieces and it’s something we need to work on.

"Frustratingly, we have had the ball in the net a couple of times in recent home games and they’ve been given offside.

“On a personal note, it would have meant a goal and an assist to me but I feel it’s coming. We work on it all the time and it might be a case of getting that monkey off our back, you know, and when one goes in others will follow.

“I’d like to get a goal or two in the games we have left because in the past few seasons I’ve always managed to get a few goals and last season with Accrington I scored six."