Burns on fast starts, his Bonne partnership and areas he must improve despite a good start in Ipswich blue
- Credit: PA
Wes Burns still feels like he has more to give despite an impressive start to his Ipswich Town career.
The Welshman was the first new signing of the Blues’ summer revolution and, despite a steady stream of players with arguably more impressive CVs than the winger arriving in Suffolk, he has been one of Town’s top performers in the early weeks of the campaign.
He’s come out the blocks quickly in games and has already formed good relationships with striker Macauley Bonne and right-back Janoi Donacien, scoring once against Wimbledon and contributing three assists in his eight games to date.
But the former Fleetwood man still believes he has more to give, particularly when it comes to lasting the course over 90 minutes, given he’s only done it three times this season.
“I’m kind of happy but I know I could be a lot better,” he said, speaking ahead of this weekend’s game against Shrewsbury.
“I could impact games for a lot longer possibly but I’m getting to the 65/70 mark and dying off a little, so it’s all about building the fitness to put in a hard shift for 90 minutes.
“The slight (Achilles) injury I had kept me out of training a bit and made things a bit more difficult and hit my training fitness, so it’s about building that back up.
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“The manager wants us to start aggressively and come out of the blocks quickly, so that’s a combination which helps us burst out of the blocks as a team. That suits me.
“That’s always how I’ve been. Some players like to feel their way into the game, which might be a safe pass or finding a team-mate, but for me it’s about trying to get at the full-back early to test the waters and see where he’s at. Is he quick or slow? Does he defend off his right or left foot? The quicker I can figure that out the better for me.
“We have clips to look at during the week of the opposition we’re playing against, in all positions, so we do quite a bit of research who we’re playing against.”
Burns and the rest of his Ipswich team-mates had an off-day as they lost to Accrington a week ago, with the 26-year-old insisting he isn’t immune from dropping out of the side, due to the attacking options available to manager Paul Cook.
“I don’t feel like it’s nailed on at the moment because things have been up and down,” Burns said of his own place in the side, which appears to be secure due to his solid start to life at Portman Road.
“It’s picked up in the last few (three wins in five in all comps) but the team isn’t operating at 100% so, until we start winning games regularly, I don’t think too many will be feeling like they’re nailed on starters. Maybe Macauley because he’s scored so many.”
Burns’ relationship with Bonne has been a profitable one, with the pair combining for the striker’s goals against Bolton and Doncaster, in minutes five and 13 respectively.
“We talk about things a lot and I say to him that if I ever get beyond the left back he shouldn’t come close to me, because I’m going to try and whip the ball as hard as I can towards the back stick,” Burns said.
“I think he’s learnt just to lurk around the back post area to get the two-yard tap-ins.
“They’re the types of relationships you need to build with team-mates. Myself and Janoi played together a little bit at Fleetwood last season so that relationship was kind of already there.
“Cameron and The Fridge (George Edmundson) are building their relationships at the back. They are so important.”
Next up for the Blues is this weekend’s game at home to a Shrewsbury side sitting 23rd in the League One table, before next weekend’s visit to newly-promoted Cambridge.
“No disrespect to Shrewsbury or Cambridge but these are games that we look at and want to take three points from,” Burns said. “It’s definitely an opportunity to spark the season into life.
“I’m pretty sure all the lads are 100% focused on the next game, rather than looking ahead, because we’re still in a place where we’re tweaking things in the starting XI. The team has never really been the same.
“We have to have full focus going into every game and not worry too much about the one after that.”