'You can see the enjoyment' - Burns delighted as Town find scoring groove again

Wes Burns fires a second half effort on goal into the side netting at Gillingham.

Wes Burns fires a second half effort on goal into the side netting at Gillingham. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Wes Burns was delighted to see his Ipswich Town side find their groove in front of goal again after a lean spell of late. 

The Blues led the League One scoring charts during much of the first half of the season, netting 34 goals in their first 16 matches, before scoring just five in their eight games prior to yesterday’s thumping of Gillingham. 

Burns scored his fifth of the season, James Norwood took his scoring streak to four successive league games and Macauley Bonne ended a 10-game drought in the 4-0 victory at Priestfield, in what was a display Burns believes shows just how much the Ipswich players are enjoying life under Kieran McKenna. 

Wes Burns celebrates at Gillingham.

Wes Burns celebrates at Gillingham. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“We can see the enjoyment everyone has when they play now and that’s great,” Burns said. 

“We’re creating so many opportunities to shoot just a few weeks after we were (ironically) cheered for having a shot in games. So to get back to the point where we’re scoring goals is great. 

“All of the lads are delighted for Macca (Bonne) and with Nors (Norwood) coming back as well, that’s huge. 

“He’s got four goals now and it’s perfect. Everyone’s happy and everyone’s scoring. 

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“It was great to see Penns (Matt Penney) get an assist (for Bonne’s goal) because he’s had a rough few weeks, so it’s great to see everyone do so well. 

“It’s back-to-back clean sheets and back-to-back wins, scoring goals again, so we just have to believe. 

“We have to go into each game with the objective of winning. It’s all to play for.” 

Wes Burns and Janoi Donacien celebrate at Gillingham.

Wes Burns and Janoi Donacien celebrate at Gillingham. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Town’s successive victories under McKenna has seen the Blues continue to use variations of the 3-4-3 system first used by interim boss John McGreal against Sunderland, with Burns believing the formation suits the majority of the side. 

“I get so much more of the ball, facing the goal, one-v-one with the defenders, so for me it’s perfect,” he said. “I don’t have to do too much defending because JD (Janoi Donacien) does it for me. 

“I’m enjoying it. The formation suits me down to the ground and I think a lot of the other players would say that as well. 

“The three at the back gives us that little bit more solidity and at times we can go into a back five to defend those set plays or when we’re under the cosh a little bit. 

“But JD, Fridge (George Edmundson) and Woolfy (Luke Woolfenden) all stepped out from the line because there’s so much space to do so. We’ve worked all week on stepping in and creating pockets to play and you can see that in the patterns of play we managed.” 

McKenna was proud of his players’ display but admitted he wasn’t happy with how they closed out the first-half, at a time when they were 3-0 up. Burns agreed. 

“We were 3-0 up but had a sloppy end to the first half, which we can’t allow other teams to see, so we have to make sure it’s a 90 minutes performance,” he said. 

“We knew their manager (Steve Evans) would get stuck into them at half-time and they came out with an extra striker on and changed formation to go man-to-man with us. But when you do that with a team who are ultimately better and fitter, you’re going to lose. All in all this was a great performance. 

“Bolton will look at us now for next week and show we’ll fight to the end. With another week’s training in us we’ll get better. 

“We just want to play games. Roll on Bolton.” 

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