Ipswich Town is ‘heading in the right direction’ as a Club, according to wideman Wes Burns.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a hugely successful first season in East Anglia, completing the 2021/22 campaign with a brace on the final day against Charlton Athletic to finish with 12 goals, as well as six assists, leading to an inclusion in the Sky Bet League One Team of the Season, which he described as the 'proudest achievement of my career so far'.
Under manager Kieran McKenna, Burns believes the Tractor Boys have cause for optimism, after just four defeats in 23 matches, registering 13 clean sheets in that period.
“I think the fans can already see our style of play is changing massively since the new boss has come in,” he said. “Results have been good – we don’t lose many and we broke the Club’s record for most time without conceding a goal.
“It’s clear that the Club is heading in the right direction and it’s going to be an exciting year for us next season.”
Versatile Burns has been a key contributor to that impressive defensive record, having featured as a wing-back on many occasions since McKenna’s appointment in December.
Whether he's playing as a defender or further forward on the right flank, he admitted he feels much more comfortable in his current role compared to earlier in the campaign.
“At the start of the season, we were playing a 4-2-3-1 formation and I was an inverted winger,” he explained. “Paul Cook wanted me to cut inside and affect the game centrally, whereas throughout my career I’d always played with chalk on my boots basically.
“I did okay in that role, but it was new to me. Since the new boss has come in, he’s given me the freedom to play wide, play high and threaten in behind and that’s where I’ve thrived most.”
In addition to the promising on-field developments, Ipswich has also made great strides off the pitch, scooping the Kin + Carta Family Club of the Season award, which honours the Club that is leading the way across the EFL in delivering the best experience for families and young fans.
At Portman Road, the matchday Fan Zone has become incredibly popular with supporters, while other initiatives like Junior Blues and First Time Fans have evolved over time.
Burns added: “Mark Ashton (CEO) has said that we want to create a really good family feel around the place and make sure there’s plenty of interaction between players and fans.
“We’re doing a lot of player appearances and there’s plenty of stuff on matchdays that players get involved with. It’s a massive part of the Club now and hopefully it continues to grow next season.
“We see week in and week out the impact footballers can have on the local community and I’m glad to be part of it.”