'We can win four, five, six on the spin' - Burns says Town can close the gap
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
In-form winger Wes Burns believes Ipswich Town are more than capable of putting together the lengthy winning streak required to gatecrash the promotion party.
A 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend meant that, once again, Town weren't able to make it three successive victories on the spin.
Tuesday night's results mean the gap to the League One play-off places has grown to nine points, but the fact the next two games are against the division's bottom two sides - Gillingham at home tomorrow, followed by a trip to Doncaster on Tuesday night - means there is a real opportunity for the momentum to build once again.
Replicate the two-points-per-game average produced since Kieran McKenna took charge (W4 L2) for the remaining 17 matches and Town would finish on 75 points - a tally usually enough for a play-off spot.
"Last weekend was very frustrating – of course it was – because obviously we wanted to go to Hillsborough and pick up the three points," said Burns.
"It’s this three wins in a row thing that we just can’t seem to get over at the moment.
“But we’ve said as a team that if we can win two games in every three between now and the end of the season we’ll be there or thereabouts in terms of the play-offs.
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“When I look around the squad I can see the quality we have in it, plus experience and strength in depth, so it’s definitely there for us to go and do."
Town have already put 10 goals past Gillingham (4-0 away) Doncaster (6-0 at home) this season, so there is an expectation that these next two games should yield six points. Then comes a big-looking game at fourth-place MK Dons, where the team could be backed by as many as 7,000 travelling supporters, followed by fixtures against Burton (h), Cheltenham (h) and Morecambe (a).
“That level of expectation is what comes from playing for a massive club like Ipswich," said Burns. "The fans are looking for and expecting three points from every game, no matter who we are playing, and I certainly don’t blame them for expecting us to win the next two and even the one after that.
“I know it’s at MK Dons but nothing should stop us going on that little winning run of three, four, five, six on the spin. If you look at the fixtures in February there are still a lot of points to play for.
“It is all about us. I know it’s a cliché to say that, but if we win more games than not we’ll definitely be in with a shout.”
Playing as a right wing-back, Burns has scored four goals in the last five games, including a brace in the 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon, to take his tally for the season to eight.
"At the start of the season I set myself a personal goal of wanting to hit at least 10,” revealed the Welshman. “So I just need a couple more, although if I do get to 10 I’ll be setting myself a brand new target that I’ll be aiming for.
"For now I’m concentrating on reaching a new high and chipping in with a few assists as well.
“I practice my finishing quite a lot to be fair. I work a lot with (head of analysis) Charlie (Turnbull) on the training ground, shooting from the various angles that we feel I am most likely to get into during a game.
“There’s no point in me shooting, for example, from the left side of the box because it would be so rare for me to be there. It’s usually down the side of the six-yard box or running in from the right, so we put in a lot of work in those areas.”
Asked if his impressive form could make him something of a marked man, Burns replied: "Actually, it’s something that I’ve noticed is starting to happen, in the last few games especially. It happened up at Bolton and it was pretty tough for me to get involved the way I would have liked at Hillsborough last Saturday.
“When opposition teams are adapting their tactics like that we just need to find ways in which I can still affect the game in a positive way."
On McKenna's impact, he added: “It probably has taken us a bit of time to adapt, learn the patterns of play and to be as confident and bold as we are on the ball in playing out from the back. The lads have taken it all on board pretty quickly though and I think the fans can see the difference in how we play.”