Kieran McKenna issues challenge to Wes Burns
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has called upon star winger Wes Burns to take his game to a new level next season
After providing 13 goals and six assists in an impressive debut season for the Blues, the flying Welshman was named in the EFL Team of the Year and named both Players' Player and Supporters' Player of the Year at the club's end of season awards.
A new, improved contract followed this week, the 27-year-old now tied down until 2025 as Town prepare for a fourth season in League One.
"He's had a very productive season in terms of his goals and assists," enthused McKenna, who helped get the best of Burns by deploying him as an attack-minded right wing-back.
"I've really enjoyed getting to know Wes better and the career he's had to this point.
"He's an example to people that they can come to this football club, improve, thrive in the environment and enjoy the pressure and the atmosphere.
"Whether you are 19, 27 or even 33. We want players to come here, enjoy, improve and thrive. Wes has managed to do that this year. He knows now that next year is a really big year for him. Coming and having one good season is one thing, but to push on again and repeat that and go up a level is another.
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"That's certainly the challenge for him now. I'm sure he's going to look to do that, starting in pre-season."
Burns, who has once again been overlooked for a call-up by Wales ahead of their World Cup qualifier against either Scotland or Ukraine, said: "I think I’ve thrived under the expectations and that has pushed me to do as well as I have done.
"I never thought that I’d be the top goalscorer of a team or be as influential as I have been for this club and this team. I never thought I'd pick up the awards I have done at the end of the season, too.
"Now that I’ve done it, I already know that I can do bigger and better things next year."