Ipswich Town star Wes Burns has revealed how the Tractor Boys came away from the St. Mary’s Stadium with all three points in a 1-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday night.
Kieran McKenna’s side have been in fine form this season, having picked up six wins from seven matches and accumulating 18 points in total from a possible 21. Only an unbeaten Preston North End have more points this term than the newly-promoted side.
Ipswich have already earned big victories against the likes of Sunderland, Southampton and Cardiff City and have become underdogs in this season’s promotion race.
Southampton, on the other hand, seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Having won three and drawn once in their opening four fixtures of the season, the Saints have found themselves on a three-game losing streak.
Ipswich, Leicester City and Sunderland all put Russell Martin’s side to the sword by an aggregate scoreline of 10-1, mounting pressure on the former Swansea City boss so early into the campaign.
McKenna’s men were forced to sit back quite a lot during the game but Wales international Wes Burns has admitted that this was all part of the plan to clinch a result.
“There’s a misconception where, when a team has a lot of possession, it feels like we’re under the cosh.
“It’s very different when you’re out there. We have such a strong, disciplined shape, so we knew exactly what they were going to do before they were doing it.”
Burns also hinted that Martin’s side could be quite predictable at times which allowed Ipswich Town to be so solid defensively:
“It was easy to read where their passes were going, and you saw a lot of the time that they were kicking balls away, off the field or straight to us, because we’re shutting angles that we know they want to play,” he continued.
“Their manager has been at MK Dons, Swansea and now Southampton, so we knew that the structures and the ways that they play would be very similar.
“They’re a very possession-based team, you’ve got full-backs rolling into midfield. We knew that blocking the middle and not letting any passes through would be key tonight.
“When you keep clean sheets and you’ve got the quality that we have up front, you’ll always have a chance of winning.”
There is a hint of truth in this. Russell Martin’s teams have always played excellent attacking football but the 37-year-old will need to devise a plan to make Southampton less predictable or else achieving promotion this season could prove difficult.
Nevertheless, we’re merely a few weeks into the 2023/24 campaign so there is still plenty of time for Martin to rectify the problems his team are facing.