Burley backs firing Blues to make the Championship top six
PUBLISHED: 12:07 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:19 06 December 2017
© Alan Walter
Ipswich Town’s recent performances have been good enough to convince former boss George Burley they can make the top six this season.
Victories over Derby and Nottingham Forest have lifted the Blues to seventh in the Championship table, three points off the play-off places, with an attacking approach meaning Mick McCarthy’s men are the league’s second-highest scorers with 35 goals.
Burley has been a regular at Portman Road this season and was impressed with the Blues’ display in their 4-2 victory over Forest, with the former boss confident his old club can stay in the promotion race if they continue to produce.
“I thought Saturday’s performance was very good and I thought they looked very strong, very competitive, against a good Nottingham Forest side which they made to look very average,” Burley said.
“There were encouraging signs and they looked like they have a team which is capable of finishing in the top six.
“They started the season well, scoring goals, but then had a bit of a dry patch where they were very much up and down.
“But Saturday was the best performance I’ve seen Ipswich play and I always look at performances rather than results. If you perform well you will win games.
“If Ipswich perform as they did on Saturday then I think they have a very good chance of finishing in the top six.”
Burley was particularly impressed by summer signing Martyn Waghorn, who took his season’s tally to 10 goals and played a part in two others against Forest as he impressed in a central striking role.
Waghorn’s former Rangers team-mate Joe Garner has led the Ipswich line this season, leaving Waghorn to play out wide, meaning manager McCarthy will have a decision to make should Garner be fit to return from a foot injury at Middlesbrough this weekend.
“I thought Martyn was outstanding on Saturday,” Burley said.
“He is the kind of player who always has great workrate but his all-round play was excellent. He got his goal, created goals and it really suited him to play through the middle.
“Personally I thought he was outstanding the position he played on Saturday, but as a manager you always want to have a decision to make there.
“But I thought he was excellent going through the middle.”